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

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    The 50-year-old had blunt force trauma to his neck

    A 50-year-old South Jersey man was found dead in his apartment on Saturday morning in what is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said. 

    Mark Randolph had blunt force trauma to his neck when Gloucester Township police arrived at the Hilltop Court Apartment complex on Black Horse Pike around 1:30 a.m. after getting a 911 call, a spokeswoman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said. 

    He was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Chris Sarson at 856-225-8640 or Gloucester Township Police Det. Brian Farrell at 856-228-4500.

    Tips can also be sent by email.

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

     

     


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    Dominic Roach made the women pay for half of the hotel fees and for the drugs he supplied them

    A 37-year-old New Jersey man was convicted last week of sex trafficking two women in Pennsylvania. 

    dominic-roach.jpgDominic Roach (Lancaster County District Attorney's Office) 

    Dominic Roach, of Camden, faces decades in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 20 for 15 felonies and three misdemeanors, the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office said Friday. 

    Roach brought the women to seven hotels on Route 30 in Lancaster County where they had sex with customers for money. In exchange, Roach provided the women with drugs and let them keep a small amount of money. 

    Authorities said Roach received half of the payments and he made the women pay for the drugs he supplied them as well as half of the hotel charges, the district attorney said. Roach had $1,073 in cash and a credit card belonging to one of the victims when was taken into custody 

    A jury needed less than two hours to come back with a verdict following a three-day trial in which text messages from Roach were among the evidence.  Judge Donald Totaro then increased Roach's bail from $200,000 to $1 million.

    It was the first trial in Lancaster County on charges of trafficking in individuals and involuntary servitude.

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

     

     


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    Here are the 30-best boys soccer games coming up this week.


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    Who still has an unbeaten streak alive in the state ? NJ Advance Media takes a look.


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    The best matchups of the third week of the season


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    Carol Rhodes wonders why New Jersey is giving tax incentives to companies to locate in cities where the company officials trash the local workforce.

    Not only is there a "Donald" in the White House who judges and disparages people because of where they were born, New Jersey's own congressman, Donald Norcross, sometimes sounds as if he could be Donald Trump's brother from another mother.

    In recent articles, Norcross, D-1st Dist., partly defended comments from Krishna Singh, the CEO of Holtec International, whose company moved its headquarters to Camden with $260 million in state tax breaks from the "ATM" known as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

    Singh considers the majority of Camden's work force as lazy, or unreliable, or prone to drug addiction because their parents were bad examples. After his remarks were published, Singh tried to dial them back by using every public official's three favorite excuses when caught saying something stupid: "I was misquoted;" "My comments were taken out of context;" and my personal favorite, "I misspoke."

    Norcross' brother, George Norcross III, sits on Holtec's board, and the congressman, as a former state senator, backed legislation making it easier for Holtec and similar firms to get EDA incentives for moving to urban areas. 

    In May, the CEO of Camden Yards Steel, another EDA recipient, described the local workers as "shooting stars," meaning that once hired as temporary workers, few get to the 450 hours required for them to become permanent employees.

    Can Camden residents to get a fair shake if they start with strikes against them because of their ZIP code? Should New Jersey tax incentives subsidize businesses with views like these two companies'? 

    One noted celebrity, Bill Cosby, once had quite a lot to say about blaming parents for all their children's' faults. But, of course, that was before he was brought into court for drugging and assaulting women -- a real credit to his own parents.

    Carol Rhodes, Barnsboro

    Editor's note: Donald Norcross is challenged by Republican Paul Dilks and two independent candidates in his Nov. 6 bid for re-election to Congress.

    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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    The next USS New Jersey is taking shape, in the first photos to be released of its construction. The nuclear submarine will carry a price tag of $2.7 billion.


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    Generous Jersey residents also donated supplies to send to the shelters down south.

    Dozens of strays and surrendered pets from the hurricane-ravaged Carolinas are headed up to New Jersey, while hundreds of pounds of pet food, cat litter and other supplies donated by Garden State animal lovers will be on their way down, animal welfare officials said.

    The Monmouth County SPCA has already received 20 dogs from various shelters in North and South Carolina that were flooded, lost power or otherwise damaged by Hurricane Florence, said Lindsay Sanator, media and marketing coordinator for the Monmouth County SPCA.

    The animals being moved to New Jersey from the Carolinas had already been in shelters prior to the storm, through the usual process of having been picked up as strays by animal control officers or surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them, Sartor said. All will be available for adoptions in New Jersey, at the SPCA's shelter at 260 Wall Street in Eatontown.

    "None of the animals that we're taking have been displaced because of the storm," she said, "because we didn't want to be taking any animals whose owners might be looking for them afterwards."

    Sanator said two trucks outfitted to carry animals will head down to the Carolinas over the next few days to retrieve as least 30 more dogs from other shelters in the region.

    In addition, Monmouth SPCA has been collecting donations of food and other pet supplies that will be hauled down to the region to assist shelters inundated by the storm surge or heavy rains.

    "If dog food or cat litter gets wet, it's basically useless," Sanator said.

    More than 1,000 pounds of dry dog food and 200 boxes of supplies had been dropped off at the SPCA shelter, and through an Amazon wish list available on the shelter's web site that are delivered to the shelter by the online retailer. 

    The Monmouth SPCA is a member of the Emergency Replacement Partner Program of the Humane Society of the United States, which links shleters and animal welfare agencies nationwide to coordinate responses to disasters that impact animals as well as humans.

    "We help the shelters in the disaster areas by placing the animals in other shelters around the country," said Brian Hackett, the Humane Society's New Jersey state director.

    Hackett said other participants in the network include the Animal Welfare Association of Camden County in Voorhees, the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, and the St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center, a network of facilities based in Madison.

    "It's quite a process making sure everyone is comfortable, all paperwork is in order and all travel crates are properly secured for the journey," St. Huberts posted on its web site on Monday, when 23 dogs "and 2 kitties" from the Carolinas were lodged at the Madison shelter.

    Hackett said interstate relief efforts like the current one served two main functions: to provide alternative shelter and adoption opportunities for animals whose shelters have been incapacitated by a disaster, crucial in regions where adopting a pet is all the more difficult for humans also impacted by a storm; and relieving pressure on local shelters that continue to operate through a disaster -- or are trying to reopen as soon as possible -- that must deal with a rapid influx of newly displaced animals as a result of that hurricane, flood or other blow.

    If there is an animal welfare silver lining to natural disasters, Hackett said, it's that the higher profile that those displaced animals achieve makes it that much more likely that they will be adopted, and that the plight of lost, abandoned and surrendered dogs and cats is more widely recognized by the potentially adopting public.

    "I thnk the animals that are transported or rescued during the disaster situations, they embody the hope of people to recover, to rebuild, to come together," Hackett said. "They put a spotlight on all of the animals around the country who are in need of homes."

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


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    Find out which freshmen stood out in each conference this week.


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    The next USS New Jersey is taking shape, in the first photos to be released of its construction. The nuclear submarine will carry a price tag of $2.7 billion.


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    They might be in Camden or around Love Park in Philadelphia

    Authorities in South Jersey are searching for two teens who went missing last week and may be traveling together. 

    Sandra Sanchez and Victor Skerrett (Camden County Prosecutor's Office) 

    Sandra Sanchez, 13, and Victor Skerrett, 14, both of Pennsauken, were last seen early Friday at their respective homes, township police and the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday. 

    They may be in Camden or around Love Park in Philadelphia.

    Sanchez is about 5-foot-5, 125 pounds while Skerrett is approximately 5-foot-7, 175 pounds. 

    Anyone with information is asked to call Pennsauken police Det. Matt Henkel at 609-929-1249 or Camden County Prosecutor's Office Det. Kevin Courtney at 856-397-6770. Tips may also be emailed.

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

     


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    Here are the players and keepers of the week in every boys soccer conference.


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    His wife and daughter said he was a selfless family man with a loud voice and a constant smile.

    Mia Randolph said she and her husband, Mark Randolph, have been separated for four years, but remained close. He was a big personality, a loving father, and still texted her every day.

    "Every morning he'd say 'Good morning' to everyone in his contact list," she said in a phone interview Tuesday, her voice full of tears. "That's how we knew something was wrong" when no text came Saturday.

    A relative found Mark Randolph, 50, dead on the floor of his Hilltop Court apartment in Gloucester Township that afternoon. On the bed next to him was a butterfly knife, a broken bracelet, and a broken silver necklace with a dumbbell charm on it, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

    Authorities said the necklace belongs to his brother, Shawn Randolph, 45, of Blackwood, who works as a personal trainer.

    He was arrested in Philadelphia Monday and charged with murder, the prosecutor's office said Tuesday. Mark Randolph died from blunt trauma to his neck, the medical examiner determined.

    Mia Randolph said Shawn struggled with addiction and would have periods of heavy drug use when he would say he had blacked out.

    According to the criminal complaint, Shawn texted a friend Saturday that he blacked out during a fight instigated by his brother and later fled the house.

    "His blood is on my hands now," Shawn wrote.

    randolph-brothers.jpgBrothers Mark Randolph, left, Dan Randolph, center, and Shawn Randolph, right. Shawn Randolph is charged with murder in the death of Mark Randolph.  

    Mia Randolph said that losing Mark is painful enough, but it is even sadder to know that her brother-in-law is charged with the crime.

    "They loved each other," she said. "[Mark] would do anything for this man."

    Mark and his two brothers grew up in South Philly. After their parents died when they were young, they ended up raising each other, Mia Randolph said. It made Mark and Shawn especially close, and Shawn would often live in Mark's apartment, she said.

    'I can never forgive myself'

    In a probable cause statement, Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Chris Sarson indicated there were signs that Shawn Randolph took things from his brother's home when he visited early Saturday morning, but didn't say specifically that robbery was the motive for the killing.

    Mia Randolph said she believes the fight occurred when Mark Randolph refused to give his brother money for drugs.

    Sarson wrote that surveillance video footage showed Shawn entering the apartment at 6:28 a.m. with a red duffle bag. When he left at 7:47 a.m., he had changed clothes and was carrying the bag, which seemed much heavier than before.

    Police also noted that there was also a padlock on the bed, which had apparently been taken from the bedroom's closet door.

    A friend of Shawn's told police they texted Saturday afternoon about what had happened. In the messages, Shawn claims that his brother came at him with the butterfly knife and what happened was self-defense, though he also said he blacked out.

    "...you know I love my brother he was all f------ pissed off at me," the texts read. "I mean come on man I don't want to do that to my brother his blood is on my hands now I can never forgive myself for that but [what] was I supposed to do leaving was the wrong thing to do I was scared..."

    Sarson noted that no blood was found on the knife on the bed.

    Philadelphia Police Department arrested Shawn around noon Monday on the 800 block of Porter Street in South Philadelphia. He is awaiting extradition to the Camden County Correctional Facility, where prosecutor's will ask that he be held pending trial.

    'The neighborhood's dad'

    Mark Randolph had an outgoing, larger-than-life personality and was loving to everyone in his life, his family said.

    "He would give a stranger the shirt off his back. He'd light up a room every time he walked into it, say 'hi' to everyone he knew and didn't," said his daughter, Attalia Randolph, 17. "He'd make everyone feel wanted and like they are something."

    randolph-selfie.jpgMark Randolph and his daughter, Attalia 

    But family came first, she and Mia Randolph said.

    "My father would always say, 'family is everything, we are here forever' and he meant that deeply," Attalia Randolph said. Despite her parents' separation, she said, he loved his kids, stepkids, Mia Randolph and his girlfriend, and reminded them every day.

    "He was always there, everything negative he would make positive, always had a smile on his face..." she said. "He loved me. He was my best friend, my world."

    Mia Randolph, Attalia's mother, said her late husband had a loud voice and used it to greet anyone he saw, so he knew everyone at the Wawa or at other places he would frequent. "He's going to be missed by so many people," she said.

    They ran off to Las Vegas to get married six weeks after they met, she said, and were married 18 years. He worked as a cook in Philadelphia, but hadn't worked since he was disabled in a car accident more than 15 years ago.

    She said he was always "the neighborhood's dad," playing catch with all the kids and buying them and their parents ice cream when the truck came around.

    "He'd give you anything and everything. He was very selfless," she said.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with the funeral expenses.

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    The story of a man shaving on NJ Transit train took a very sad turn, but looks like it will have a happy ending.

    Jordan Uhl saw the Twitter video of Anthony Torres shaving on a NJ Transit train that went viral last week, and found it to be in poor taste. Then he read the Associated Press report that Torres had just left a homeless shelter the morning of the video, which Uhl described as "a gut punch."

    But when he saw on Twitter that the person who shot the footage was looking to license it? That's when he felt he needed to do something.

    "He was literally trying to profit off of mocking a homeless guy," Uhl told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview Tuesday. "It just felt really disgusting and vile so I figured we needed to come together and help this guy."

    So Uhl, who lives in Washington, D.C. and works the public policy advocacy group "MoveOn," put his more than 100,000 Twitter followers to good use -- launching a GoFundMe for Torres on Monday night that has raised more than $10,000 in to help him get back on his feet.

    Uhl's original goal was to raise $10,000, but that number was hit in the first 13 hours of the fundraiser. The goal has been bumped to $15,000, but could be raised again as more money pours in for Torres, whose living situation has been complicated by multiple strokes in the past few years.

    "People really responded quickly and in a big way. It's growing pretty fast," Uhl said. "I've talked to his brother, trying to understand his specific needs and see how best we can help with his medical supplies and medicine and that sort of stuff. It just shows how amazing people can be in these moments."

    Torres and his four brothers grew up poor on a farm in Hammonton, according to The Associated Press, and he has worked several jobs including has worked several jobs, including casino security guard as well as construction, moving to wherever he could find work, including Florida, and has spent time living in motels and sleeping in bus depots.

    Torres had just left a New York City homeless shelter and was headed to Atco in Camden County to the home of his brother, Thomas, when he was filmed shaving on the train. According to Uhl, Torres was jumped and robbed the morning of the video as well.

    "Let's get him as comfortable as we can because so many people in this country live paycheck to paycheck and it's really, really difficult for people to get ahead. To even touch some sort of semblance of financial stability is a pipe dream for so many people in this country. And with systemic barriers to economic advancement, it's just so farfetched," Uhl said. "So if we can come together and even just help this one guy, it might not solve the entire problem but it makes a difference in his life. Getting him to a position where he won't have to worry about this anymore would make me feel really good.

    "This campaign is everybody coming together. All I did was just start it. Everyone who chipped in, everyone who shared it, everyone who was of the same mindset that this guy needs our help, it's a collective effort."

    Jeremy Schneider may be reached at jschneider@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    The corrections officer allegedly used some of the cash he was paid to gamble in Atlantic City.

    A former corrections officer who allegedly smuggled drugs to inmates at a federal prison and used some of the cash he was paid to gamble in Atlantic City has been indicted on bribery charges and other counts.

    Federal prosecutors say Paul Wright allegedly received the drugs and cash in 2015 from two people outside the prison who had ties to separate inmates. The 32-year-old Berlin man allegedly smuggled in tobacco, synthetic marijuana and suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

    The indictment handed up Tuesday charges Wright with two counts each of agreeing to accept and accepting bribes. He also faces two counts of violating the travel act and one count of providing contraband to an inmate.

    Bank records showed that Wright not only deposited the cash payments, but also used them as buy-ins at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, prosecutors said.

    In late 2015, he exchanged thousands of dollars for drugs from a relative of an inmate's girlfriend after meeting with them in New York City, the feds said. He later allegedly delivered the drugs to the inmate.

    It wasn't known Tuesday if Wright has retained an attorney.

     

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    The restaurant will be holding open interviews on Oct. 8 at 17 New Jersey locations throughout the day beginning at 10 a.m.

    Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill plans to hire workers for 250 positions in locations across New Jersey and Delaware. 

    The restaurant will be holding open interviews on Oct. 8 at 17 New Jersey locations throughout the day beginning at 10 a.m.

    Available positions include servers, hosts, bartenders, kitchen trainers, cooks and more, according to a release. 

    Experience isn't necessary, the release said, but it is preferred. 

    The New Jersey locations hosting a hiring day are as follows:

    • Atlantic City
    • Audubon
    • Cherry Hill
    • Deptford 
    • Hammonton
    • Mays Landing
    • Mt. Laurel
    • Pennsville
    • Sicklerville
    • Somerdale 
    • Somers Point
    • Swedesboro
    • Turnersville
    • Vineland
    • Voorhees
    • Westhampton
    • Williamstown  

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at ajohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports. Find nj.com on Facebook.

     

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    The Democrats say the font used on the mailer is known as "Chop Suey."

    Dueling accusations are flying in South Jersey over a campaign mailer for the 3rd district U.S. House race.

    State Democrats are accusing their Republican counterparts of distributing a "racist" ad targeting Democratic challenger Andy Kim, a Korean American. Kim is running against two-term Republican incumbent Tom MacArthur.

    The ad features a photo of several whole fish on ice with the caption "There's something Real Fishy about Andy Kim."

    "Real Fishy" and "Andy Kim" are spelled out in a type font a Democratic spokeswoman said is called "Chop Suey," and is often associated with Chinese food stores or Asian films.

    "The GOP's decision to show images of raw fish and to use this particular red block font, which is actually called 'Chop Suey' and has long been used to visually convey Asian heritage, makes it abundantly clear what this mailer is -- a shameful racist attack on a qualified and capable public servant," said Caitlin Mota, a Democratic party spokeswoman.

    The state GOP dismissed the Democrat's criticism.

    "This is an ugly attempt to change a bad news cycle for Andy Kim," said Harrison Neeley, a GOP spokesman. "Let's not forget that Tom MacArthur has two Korean children."

    A request to MacArthur for comment Wednesday was not immediately returned.

    MacArthur has criticized Kim for being a liberal Democrat and for taking campaign contributions from U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

    A previous MacArthur ad ended with a phrase: "Kim, not one of us."

    "This kind of divisive rhetoric is exactly what voters hate about Washington politicians," said Forrest Rilling, a Kim spokesman.

    MacArthur "faces a significant challenge to keep his seat," according to a Monmouth University Poll  that shows he's in a virtual tie with Democrat Andy Kim in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District race.

    The Monmouth University Poll gave Republican MacArthur a 1-point lead over Kim among potential voters, defined as those who have voted at least once since 2010 or have newly registered. MacArthur's 41 percent to 40 percent advantage is well within the survey's margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

    Kim had more money to spend entering July, $1.7 million to $1 million, Federal Election Commission filings show.

    A majority of voters, 57 percent, said they viewed the race as a referendum on Donald Trump, including 66 percent of those who oppose the president and 60 percent who support him.

    MacArthur has backed Trump more often than any other member of the New Jersey congressional delegation, according to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.

    Staff writer Jonathan D. Salant contributed to this report.

    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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