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

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    The policy allows judges to continue working until their 80th birthday, in some cases.


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    Investigators released a video Monday of a man who may have information on the shooting of two Camden Police Officers who were ambushed while stopped at a red light last week. Watch video

    Investigators released a video Monday of a man who may have information on the shooting of two Camden Police Officers who were ambushed while stopped at a red light last week.

    The video shows surveillance footage of an unidentified man who is a "person of interest" in the case, according to a release from the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

    Officials did not release any further information about the man, but said he should be approached the public.

    On Wednesday, the prosecutor's office released photos of two men who were people of interest in the case. The man in the video is one of the two men in the pictures.

    Expo preview

    The plainclothes detectives were sitting in an unmarked police SUV on Aug. 7 on Broadway and Mount Vernon in Camden around 8:30 p.m. when at least one man approached the car and shot it with with as many as 25 rounds.  

    One of the detectives shot back as two men sped away in a white van. The van was hours later found by police in the city, but no arrests were made and charges were filed as of Monday night, according to the release.

    The detectives, a man and a woman who have not been identified by police as they work as undercover narcotics officers, were taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden and both were released last week.

    reward of $60,000 was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot the officers.

    Anyone who recognized the man in the video was asked to call the Camden County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Detective Matt McKeown at (609) 820-7192 or to email ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Multiple fronts may be needed to discourage New Jersey's newly minted doctors from packing up their framed degrees and setting up shop in another state.

    So, just who is graduating from new or expanded medical schools in New Jersey? 

    Auto mechanics?

    Excuse the snark above, but it was surprising to learn that New Jersey has a doctor shortage that borders on severe. According to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the Garden State needs as many as 2,800 more physicians, surgeons, etc. by 2020. The senator and other lawmakers are backing legislation they say will help to resolve the shortage -- but probably not that quickly.

    Menendez says that outdated state "caps" on Medicare-funded doctor-training  slots imposed on New Jersey by federal legislation 21 years ago are unfair, because so many New Jersey-trained residents were working outside the state when the limits were calculated. 

    Much of what has happened here can be blamed on geography and demographics. Young doctors completing their training can easily wind up at prestigious hospitals in New York City and Philadelphia, and less-prestigious, but huge, hospitals in those cities. Even if they live in New Jersey, many commute and may never practice in their home state. Montana or Minnesota don't have this particular problem, whatever other issues they might have about doctor flight. 

    Also, as in the rest of the Northeast, Jersey doctors are "aging out." Association of American Colleges data cited by the lawmakers say New Jersey has a high number of doctors ages 60 or older -- and on the verge of hanging up their scalpels or stethoscopes. Three is a low percentage of doctors under age 40, and likely to stay in practice for the next 25 or 30 years. Even more daunting is that New Jersey's ratio of medical students, at 24.4 per 100,000 population, ranks a lowly 37th among the 50 states.

    Legislation to re-jigger the cap introduced by Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker, also D-N.J., is non-controversial enough that there is bipartisan support for a House version from the likes of both Reps. Tom MacArthur, R-3rd Dist., and Donald Norcross, D-1st Dist. 

    Non-legislative help is also on the way. The state's newest medical school, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, opened on July 9 with an initial class of 60 students. Cooper Medical School of Rowan University launched just six years ago as the "first new medical school in New Jersey in 35 years." The Camden-based med school graduated 73 physicians this past May.

    The fine print, though, is that just over a quarter of its class is staying in New Jersey for their residencies, based on their "Match Day" assignments. While physicians-in-training are subject to nationwide placement (43,000 sought positions across America this year), one wonders what more might be done to get our own grads to return to New Jersey. On the other hand, it is encouraging that nearly half of 2018 Cooper-Rowan class (35 of 73) entered primary-care programs, an area where national doctor shortages have been the most pervasive. 

    It makes sense to change the federal rules, but how much, and how soon, this would help New Jersey is unclear. It's also possible that the same factors -- high housing costs, ridiculously high taxes -- that impact all recent college graduates in New Jersey are at work here. 

    Just because a millennial dons a white coat doesn't mean he or she isn't subject to the loud sucking sound drawing their generational cohorts to Texas, the Carolinas or the Pacific Northwest. When New Jersey is a better place for all wage earners and businesses, it'll be a better place for the doctors among them, too.

    Send a letter to the editor of South Jersey Times at sjletters@njadvancemedia.com

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


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    NJ Advance Media takes a peek at some of the top New Jersey high school football scrimmages this summer. Here's your guide.


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    Charlette Dawkins was found unresponsive inside the home she lived in with her mother and her mother's boyfriend in March 2017.

    The boyfriend of a woman whose 3-year-old daughter died in 2017 was charged Monday in connection with the girl's death.

    Travis W. Graham, 22, of Gloucester Township, was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

    Charlette Dawkins was found unresponsive inside the Bittersweet Drive home she lived in with her mother and Graham on March 14, 2017.

    Graham initially told investigators that, while he was caring for Charlette, she fell down the stairs and that he caught her before she hit the bottom of the steps, prosecutors said Tuesday. After she didn't wake up from a nap later that day, he drove her to the hospital.

    When Graham spoke to detectives last month, however, his story changed.

    While she was standing at the top of the stairs, refusing to take a nap, he admitted striking the child across the forehead with the back of his hand, knocking her down the steps, prosecutors stated.

    Graham told investigators that he "backhanded" Charlette after she pinched him during the argument about taking a nap.

    Graham said he hit her with such force that she "was spun around and fell down the steps face first," according to the affidavit of probable cause.

    Charlette was unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs and had wet herself, Graham told authorities. He said he changed her soiled clothes and drove her to the hospital within five minutes of the fall.

    dawkinsCharlette Dawkins (Provided photos) 

    The affidavit, however, includes text messages Graham apparently sent to Charlette's mother covering a three-hour time span between when he said she fell and when he said he was taking her to the emergency room.

    At 12:38 p.m., he wrote: "lol nvm char just threw a hissy fit and dropped dead weight while walking up the stairs. I caught her but she banged her head."

    At 1:35 p.m., he wrote: "her head is pretty bad with bruises."

    At 3:26 p.m, he wrote: "Going to emergency room"

    After Graham took Charlette to a hospital in Stratford, she was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where she was diagnosed with fixed and dilated pupils, which indicated a brain injury, multiple healing rib fractures and bruises on her forehead, chest, abdomen and legs.

    She suffered cardiac arrest several times and was later diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury, according to the affidavit.

    A doctor's evaluation concluded "the history, physical examination, and diagnostic studies are diagnostic of child physical abuse to a medical degree of certainty."

    Bill Townsend, chief of detectives in the prosecutor's office, said at the end of July that charges against Graham were imminent after "promising developments in the Charlette Dawkins death investigation."

    The medical examiner ruled Charlette's death a homicide earlier this month.

    Graham is currently being held on charges related to several armed robberies. Prosecutors are expected to ask that he remained detained pending trial on the murder charge. 

    -- NJ Advance Media staff writers Alex Napoliello and Matt Gray contributed to this report. 

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


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    Four Roman Catholic priests with ties to New Jersey were among the hundreds of men identified in a sweeping Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday.


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    Summer update on the N.J. boys hoops recruiting front


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    A man sued after a company said he could not return unless he submitted to a drug test.

    A New Jersey business does not have to waive its requirement for mandatory drug testing for a worker who uses medical marijuana, a federal court has ruled.

    Daniel Cotto Jr. of Bridgeton had sued Ardagh Glass citing the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination after the company wouldn't allow him to return to his job unless he submitted to breathalyzer and urine screenings.

    Ardagh asked that Cotto's suit be dismissed, an action which was granted by Judge Robert B. Kugler sitting in U.S. District Court in Camden.

    "New Jersey law does not require private employers to waive drug tests for users of medical marijuana," Kugler wrote.

    The judge also noted "unless expressly provided for by statue, most courts have concluded that the decriminalization of medical marijuana does not shield employees from adverse employment actions."

    Cotto said in his suit he had worked for Ardagh in Bridgeton as a forklift operator since February 2011.

    When he was hired, he told officials there he was taking Percocet, Gabapentin and using medical marijuana -- all prescribed by a doctor -- to treat pain from a 2007 injury he had suffered, Cotto's suit said.

    There was no indication in court documents whether Cotto was required to submit to a drug test at that time.

    In early November 2016, according to his suit, he injured himself by hitting his head on the roof of a forklift while working at Ardagh.

    He says after a doctor's visit he was told by an Ardagh representative he couldn't return unless he passed a drug test.

    Cotto claimed he was told by a company human resources official his medical marijuana use was a "problem."

    In August 2017, Cotto was "formally" terminated, his suit says. Cotto filed suit in Superior Court in Cumberland County in September 2017, but the case was later transferred to federal court in Camden at Ardagh's request.

    Hopes dimming for legal weed soon?

    Kugler said in his ruling that Cotto was not claiming that Ardagh was discriminating against him based on his disability, but "discriminated against him by refusing to accommodate his use of medical marijuana by waiving a drug test."

    The judge wrote "(Cotto) claims that the decriminalization of medical marijuana under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act together with the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination compels his employer to provide an accommodation for him, which the court infers can only mean a request that his employer waive the requirement that (Cotto) pass a drug test."

    Ardagh argued the state's medical marijuana act "does not mandate employer acceptance -- or, more particularly, to waive a drug test -- of an employee's use of a substance that is illegal under federal law."

    While New Jersey's medical marijuana act protects those prescribed the drug from legal penalties, Kugler quoted the law which says it does not "require ... an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace."

    Kugler says he believes other courts would also reach the conclusion that the Law Against Discrimination "does not require an employer to accommodate an employee's use of medical marijuana with a drug test waiver."

    "Ardagh Glass is within its rights to refuse to waive a drug test for federally-prohibited narcotics," Kugler wrote.

    Kugler also noted New Jersey is an "at-will" employment state meaning "an employer may fire an employee for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all."

    Attorneys for Cotto and Ardagh didn't immediately return email requests for comment.

    Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at bgallo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow Bill Gallo Jr. on Twitter @bgallojr. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Who is back from NJ.com's postseason selections following the 2017 season?


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    The 52-year-old Gloucester County man also attempted to lure another girl into his car, police said

    A 52-year-old New Jersey man touched a teenage girl inappropriately after luring her into his car and later tried to coax another girl into his vehicle on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. 

    Jesus Baez Sr., of Gloucester Township, faces charges of luring, criminal sexual conduct, criminal restraint and criminal attempt luring.

    baez.jpgJesus Baez Sr. (Winslow police)

    The first incident unfolded when Baez saw a 17-year-old girl walking in the rain in the area of Williamstown and Sicklerville roads around 4:40 p.m. in Winslow, police said.

    Though she first turned down his offer of a ride, she eventually got into the car when he continued to badger her, police said.

    Baez then locked the doors to the car and started to touch the girl's genitals over her pants as he drove, according to police. She managed to escape and call police when he began to pull over, police said.

    Baez then turned his attention to a 16-year-old girl he saw walking, police said. She ignored his repeated invitations for a ride, however, and Baez drove off, police said. The girl then notified a nearby police officer, who was in the area looking for him, police said.

    He was later arrested at his home in the Sicklerville section of Gloucester Township.

    Anyone who was seen Baez's 2001 tan Nissan Maxima in the area is asked to call Det. Nick Arnold at 609-567-0700 x1188 as police are investigating the possibility he might have attempted to lure other girls.

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

     


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    He recently filed a lawsuit over the 2017 incident at a South Jersey location

    The salad Edwin Molina ordered at a Chick-fil-A in South Jersey left a bad taste in his mouth. 

    That's because it contained manure, he claims in a lawsuit.

    The Blackwood resident says he ordered his salad at a location on Clements Bridge Road in Deptford Township on Jan. 10, 2017.

    Molina had consumed "a good portion" of the salad before noticing what looked like clumps of dirt among the greens, according to the lawsuit.

    Then, he took a closer look and a whiff. "... it was clear that the clumps were actually manure in the salad," the suit states.

    Molina names Chick-fil-A, as well as Doug Clark, restaurant operator for the Deptford location, and Taylor Farms New Jersey Inc. as defendants in the state Superior Court filing.

    Molina says the defendants were negligent in inspection, preparation and serving of its food and "failed to provide proper, safe and clean food and food services for persons allowed and invited to use their property."

    Clark referred questions about the suit to the company's corporate public relations office. Messages left there and with Taylor Farms were not returned.

    Efforts to reach Molina and his attorney were also unsuccessful.

    Matt Gray may be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us: nj.com/tips.

     

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    More hot fun in the summertime.

    This is a photo of the house I grew up in on Chimes Terrace in Vineland. Do you see that strip of sand alongside the street in front of our house?

    Chimes_Terrace.jpg 

    Obviously, we didn't have sidewalks. We also didn't have a swimming pool and my sister and I usually were limited to running through the sprinkler or shooting water pistols at each other to keep cool.

    But with regularity, it being summer, a thunderstorm would pass through.

    Thunderstorms are usually over pretty quickly; after it passed, a river of water would be running down the side of our street. That water and that sand became our special summer fun.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    We could form little canals or dam up the water and make a small lake. If it was a particularly hard rain, you could sail little sticks as if they were boats. Even if the rain wasn't quite over, it was a cooling summer rain you didn't mind and the steam rising off the asphalt added to the things you could imagine. Traffic wasn't nearly as dense as it is today, and drivers were aware of us - they weren't staring at cell phones.

    And every time there's a summer shower, even to this day, I think back to that simple summer fun.

    In this gallery of vintage photos from around New Jersey, we can see that summertime fun can be anything anyone wants it to be when the weather's fine. And here are links to other galleries you'll enjoy.

    Vintage photos of taverns and bars in N.J.

    Vintage photos of the 1970s in N.J.

    Vintage photos of a day in N.J.

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


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    Find out which teacher from your county made the cut.


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    He was arrested as he arrived for his shift.

    Authorities have charged a corrections officer, a prisoner and woman in a scheme to smuggle drugs into Camden County's jail, prosecutors announced.

    Officer Edwin Berrios Jr., 22, of Pennsauken, was arrested Wednesday as he arrived for work at the facility.

    A search turned up oxycodone pills and suboxone strips hidden in his sock, officials said.

    Berrios allegedly planned to give them to prisoner Dayshawn Nesmith, 21, of Camden, who is in jail awaiting sentencing in an unrelated matter.

    Nesmith's girlfriend, Markida Reevey, 22, of Camden, allegedly provided Berrios with the drugs so that he could smuggle them into the facility.

    Berrios was suspended until the end of the investigation.

    He's charged with two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and official misconduct.

    Nesmith and Reevey were charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

    All three are scheduled for first appearances in court on Aug. 28.

    Matt Gray may be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us: nj.com/tips.

     

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    The Republican nominee for New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District tells his story.

    By Seth Grossman

    Last June, I surprised a lot of people. I won the Primary Election and became the Republican nominee for the Congress in South Jersey's 2nd District. I was known for helping to kill the toll hike scheme of Democratic Governor Jon Corzine in 2008.

    I was also known for running against Governor Chris Christie in the 2013 Republican primary at the height of his popularity. I opposed his reckless borrowing with NJ's pension plans, Atlantic City government, and dozens of unelected "authorities."

    Now, the national media -- including this paper -- describe me as a "bigot." Why? 

    I am the grandson of Jews who fled violence and persecution in Eastern Europe 110 years ago. I grew up in Atlantic City in the 50s and 60s, when its 60,000 people of all races and backgrounds lived in vibrant neighborhoods.

    I went to Atlantic City's mostly black Central Junior High and largely black high school. Many of the teachers who taught and inspired me the most were black. So were many of the best students in my classes.   

    Like most kids back then, I worked summer jobs since age 14 when I could get working papers at age 14. I made change at arcades, washed dishes, waited tables, and drove cabs with kids from all over the city.

    I served in Atlantic City's Army National Guard unit from 1971 to 1977.  Since it had been a "colored" unit before President Truman integrated the army in 1948, most of my officers, sergeants, and fellow reservists in that Atlantic City unit were black.

    When I finished law school, I opened my practice in Atlantic City. I began with small, difficult cases few other lawyers wanted. Roughly half of my clients were black or Hispanic. In 1986, I was elected to City Council in an at-large, city-wide election.  When I moved my office to Somers Point, most of my inner-city clients stayed with me.

    Seth Grossman still not too bigoted for some Republicans | Editorial

    Why am I called a "bigot?" I think it comes down to these four factors:

    1.  I am "another white man." That is how I was described in this paper last June. Is it acceptable to describe a person of any other race or gender that way? In today's politically correct America, every "white man" is presumed to be a bigot.  We can prove innocence only by embracing "progressive" causes -- something I refuse to do. Meanwhile, people of other races and genders, like Sarah Jeong, are ignored or excused when they routinely spout racist hatred like "#CancelWhitePeople".

    2. I believe blacks are equal to whites in every way. I know they can succeed in every area of life without quotas, preferences, or other special treatment. That is because I personally know so many who did, and how they did it. I also know many immigrants of all races who overcame even bigger obstacles.   

    3. I recognize the danger of radical Islam. I closely followed the teachings of the "Blind Sheik" ever since one of his followers murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane in a New York hotel in 1990.  I had long conversations with an Atlantic City friend who was the FBI agent who arrested another follower who tried to topple the World Trade Center with a truck bomb in 1993. 

    4. I believe in the American tradition of having open and honest conversations about the important issues that affect us most. I agree with Benjamin Franklin who said "By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and political light is obtained." Over the years, I admit saying things that turned out to be wrong. However, if I did not speak out, I never would have learned the truth by being corrected.

    My opponent is a Democratic State Senator who has been in Trenton for the past 16 years.  He did not offend anyone, because he rarely if ever spoke openly about controversial issues. During these years, he supported his party's leaders to borrow and spend more and more on pay raises, pensions, and everybody's favorite projects. Voters have a clear choice on November 6.

    Seth Grossman is a Somers Point attorney and was executive director of LibertyAndProsperity.com until he became a candidate for Congress this year. He can be reached at info@grossmanforcongress.com.


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    See how the new divisional realignment cycle could alter the boys soccer landscape this season.


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    The detectives were shot and wounded on Aug. 7 as they waited at a red light.

    Authorities have charged three men in connection with the Aug. 7 ambush shooting of two Camden police detectives.

    At a Friday afternoon press conference, authorities announced they've charged Alexander DeJesus, 19, Ammar Hall, 26 and Juan Figueroa, 20, with attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

    The men were at large Friday afternoon.

    Authorities urged the public to use extreme caution if they encounter them, and to call police.

    The plain-clothes detectives, a man and a woman, were wounded as they sat in their SUV at a red light in the Bergen Square neighborhood around 8:30 p.m.

    The male detective, a three-year veteran of the force, suffered wounds to the bicep and forearm. The female detective, who has served more than four years, was struck in the hand. Both have been released from the hospital and are recovering from their injuries.

    Neither has been named because of the undercover nature of their work.

    As the officers sat in an unmarked vehicle on Broadway at the intersection with Walnut Street that night, two men in a white Chevrolet Uplander stopped at a green light on Walnut, exited their vehicle and began firing.

    They fired 21 rounds, striking the detectives' vehicle 14 times, according to an investigation report.

    One detective returned fire at the assailants, firing a total of four rounds.

    As they exchanged gunfire, the detectives pulled through the intersection to gain a better tactical position, a police official later explained.

    "They were able to drive these cowards off who were trying to ambush them," said Rick Kunkel, president of Camden County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 218.

    While a motive behind the shooting hasn't been revealed, Kunkel said he was confident the shooters knew their targets were detectives.

    The Uplander was later recovered in Camden, but the shooters remained at large.

    A reward in the case reached $60,000.

    Anyone with information about the suspects can call Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Matt McKeown at 609-820-7192 or Camden County Police Detective Frank Cardoso at 609-519-5898.

    Matt Gray may be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us: nj.com/tips.


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    A Pennsylvania grand jury found "little to no evidence" Catholic Church officials in New Jersey let police know its priest was accused of sexually abusing boys.

    The Diocese of Camden says it told law enforcement officials at least six times over 12 years that one of its priests had been accused of sexually abusing boys -- disputing an allegation in a new report that there was "little to no documentation" that church officials notified police.

    The Rev. John P. Connor was one of more than 300 Catholic priests named in a sweeping grand jury report released earlier this week detailing the alleged abuse of more than 1,000 children over 70 years in Pennsylvania.

    Connor was arrested in 1984 for allegedly sexually molesting a 14-year-old boy at the priest's home in the Diocese of Camden while he was a teacher and golf coach at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, the report said.

    Will the names of N.J.'s 'predatory priests' be released?

    He was never prosecuted because lawyers for the diocese reached a deal with the Cape May County Prosecutor's office in which his arrest record would be erased if he admitted to the abuse and was not arrested again within a year, the report said.

    Connor went on to serve as a priest in a hospital and parishes in Pennsylvania, where he was again accused of having inappropriate relationships with boys, including a young boy in Conshohocken he allegedly visited weekly. He was removed from ministry in 2002, but never prosecuted.

    The Pennsylvania grand jury investigation "found little to no documentation that the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or Camden notified local law enforcement or the District Attorney's office about Connor's sexual abuse," the report concluded.

    A spokesman for the Diocese of Camden said it was "completely inaccurate" that church officials failed to report Connor to New Jersey police and prosecutors.

    "On April 9, 2002, February 25, 2004, February 15, 2005, February 3, 2011, August 24, 2012 and October 19, 2016 the Diocese of Camden notified law enforcement authorities in New Jersey of allegations that it had received against Connor concerning abusive activities that occurred prior to his removal from ministry," said Michael Walsh, a Diocese of Camden spokesman.

    After he was removed from ministry in 2002, Connor was sent to an unnamed facility in Missouri for priests accused of abuse, church officials said. He was told to live a life of penance and prayer. He is now 84.

    Connor could not be reached for comment.

    The Camden County Prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to requests to comment on whether they investigated any of the abuse allegations against Connor reported by the Diocese of Camden between 2002 and 2016.

    Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland said it is unclear if prosecutors properly handled Connor's case when the priest was first arrested in 1984 and let go after prosecutors made a deal with the Catholic Church's attorneys.

    "I really can't assess that," Sutherland said. "The laws have changed substantially."

    Sutherland said he could not locate the 34-year-old file about the case and no investigators from that time period still work in his office. He did find paperwork that shows the Catholic Church reported Connor went to a treatment center in Canada after his arrest in 1980s, which was part of the priest's agreement with prosecutors.

    The Cape May prosecutor also said his office received a letter from church attorneys in 2012 saying Connor was accused of sexual abuse in a Pennsylvania case. But his county had no other reports of abuse by the priest, Sutherland said.

    Connor served in several parishes in New Jersey before his arrest, including churches and schools in Vineland, Gloucester, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township and Pennsauken.

    The grand jury's report includes church documents that show Connor spent at least eight months in a treatment center in Toronto in 1985 where an assessment said "he acts out sexually with some preference to late adolescent males."

    After his release, church officials placed Connor in several ministries where he continued to have contact with children, including as an assistant pastor at St. Matthew Parish in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, a parish with a grade school.

    "There was no warning to the parishioners of the church that Connor was an admitted child molester," the grand jury report said.

    He was moved back to the Diocese of Camden in 1993 after one of his alleged victims filed a lawsuit and received a settlement from the diocese, the report said. Other alleged victims contacted church officials in 2008 and 2014, alleging they were sexually abused by Connor in the past.

    The Diocese of Camden urged any abuse victims to speak to law enforcement.

    "The diocese also maintains a toll-free 800 number (1-800-964-6588) to facilitate the reporting of child abuse, and it reports any accusation that it receives to law enforcement," said Walsh, the diocese's spokesman.

    Kelly Heyboer may be reached at kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.

     

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    Two others sought in the assault remain at large. Watch video

    Authorities have arrested one of three men sought in the shooting of two Camden police detectives last week.

    Juan M. Figueroa, 20, of Camden, was arrested without incident on Saturday in Gloucester City, Camden police reported.

    Juan M. Figueroa.pngJuan M. Figueroa
     

    Police have charged Figueroa, Alexander DeJesus, 19, of Philadelphia, and Ammar A. Hall, 26, of Camden, with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses in the Aug. 7 assault.

    The plain-clothes detectives, a man and a woman, were wounded as they sat in their SUV at a red light in the Bergen Square neighborhood around 8:30 p.m.

    Two men in a white Chevrolet Uplander stopped nearby, exited and began firing at the cops, pumping 14 rounds into the unmarked vehicle.

    The male detective suffered wounds to the bicep and forearm, while the female detective was struck in the hand. Both have been released from the hospital.

    Neither has been named because of the undercover nature of their work.

    One of the detectives returned fire before the assailants fled. The Uplander was recovered hours later.

    Camden police announced charges against the trio on Friday afternoon. A $60,000 reward is offered for their arrest.

    Figueroa was placed in Camden County's jail pending hearings.

    Police Chief Scott Thomson, who called the three "homicidal maniacs" during Friday's press conference, encouraged DeJesus and Hall to surrender.

    All three have prior criminal records, he said Friday.

    Figueroa was sentenced to 5 years probation on a weapons charge in October 2017, according to court records.

    Hall was sentenced to 3 years in 2012 on drug distribution charges and sentenced to 180 days and 5 years probation in 2016 on another drug offense.

    No adult charges were listed for DeJesus.

    Anyone with information about the suspects can call Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Matt McKeown at 609-820-7192 or Camden County Police Detective Frank Cardoso at 609-519-5898.

    Matt Gray may be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us: nj.com/tips.


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    Consider adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue.

    Petfinder, the for-profit internet company that operates the largest online pet adoption website serving all of North America, put this list together of common adoption myths in the hope that more people will adopt dogs and cats from shelters and rescues.

    "I don't know what I'm getting."

    There is likely more information available on adoptable animals than pets for purchase in pet stores. Many of the pets from rescue groups are in foster care, living with their fosterer 24/7; information on their personality and habits is typically vast. Even shelters have a very good idea about how the dogs and cats in their care behave with people and other animals.

    "I can't find what I want at a shelter."

    Not only are their breed-specific rescue groups, but some rescues and shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds. There are even means on Petfinder.com to be notified when certain breeds are posted for adoption.

    "I can get a pet for free from a friend or acquaintance; why pay an adoption fee?"

    The 'free pet' from a source other than a shelter or rescue group isn't necessarily free. Adoption fees usually cover a number of services and treatments including spay/neuter and veterinary checkups. Covering these costs on your own would call for spending the following estimated amounts:

    * Spay/neuter: $150-$300

    * Distemper vaccination: $20-$30, twice

    * Rabies vaccination: $15-$25

    * Heartworm test: $15-$35

    * Flea/tick treatment: $50-$200

    * Microchip: $25-$50

    "Pets are in shelters because they don't make good pets."

    Here are the main reasons animals end up in shelters or with rescue groups:

    * Owners have to move, pets not allowed

    * Allergies

    * Owner having personal problems

    * Too many, no room for littermates

    * Owner can no longer afford a pet

    * Owner's health does not allow for pet care

    While no one can say that every pet adopted from a shelter or rescue will work out perfectly, it's important to remember that misinformation about these homeless animals often keeps them from finding loving homes.

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


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