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Entries in New Jersey (116)

Wednesday
May012013

Army Officer, Wife Accused of Child Abuse

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MORRIS COUNTY, N.J) -- A U.S. Army major and his wife are facing federal child-abuse charges for cruelty to their six children, three of whom were adopted. The alleged acts of cruelty include breaking their bones, denying them medical attention, withholding water and force-feeding them hot sauce, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said Wednesday.

John E. Jackson, 37, and Carolyn Jackson, 35, worked at the Picatinny Arsenal Installation in Morris County, N.J. Because the alleged crimes occurred on a military base, they will be tried in a federal court.

The Jacksons are charged in a 17-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, 13 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of assault.

“Carolyn and John Jackson are charged with unimaginable cruelty to children they were trusted to protect,” Fishman said in a statement. “The crimes alleged should not happen to any child, anywhere, and it is deeply disturbing that they would happen on a military installation. Along with the FBI, we will continue to seek justice for our communities’ most vulnerable victims.”

The Picatinny Arsenal Installation did not return a request for comment.

The alleged abuse occurred from 2005 until 2010, when the Jacksons engaged in a “constant course” of neglect and cruelty to their three adopted children and told their three biological children not to report the physical assaults, saying the punishments were “training” the adopted children how to behave, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that the Jacksons withheld water from their children and assaulted them with objects, causing fractured bones. The report also says the parents caused the children to consume food meant for suffering, including red pepper flakes, hot sauce and raw onion. They also allegedly caused one child to ingest excessive sodium or sodium-laden substances while being deprived of water, leading to a life-threatening condition.

The defense teams for the parents did not return a request for comment.

The children are in the custody of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

Several support websites and online groups for Carolyn and John Jackson have been developed since the abuse allegations first became known in 2010.

One website, ReuniteJackson7, maintains the Jacksons are innocent and asks for donations for legal fees. New Jersey attorney Grace Meyer’s address is listed on the website as the place to send in donations. When ABC News contacted Meyer, she said she doesn’t know who is behind the website. She added that she had not received any donations and was unaware that her name was on the website.

Meyer said she represented the family from 2010 through last year.

“I represented them for two years in court. I believe God is in control of this and I just know they’ll be exonerated,” Meyer said.

If the Jacksons are convicted, each faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison on each of the 17 counts. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.

Both are scheduled to appear in a U.S. District Court Thursday at 11 a.m. before Judge Mark Falk.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar252013

NJ Gas Station Manager Says He Sold Winning Powerball Ticket

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(BORDENTOWN, N.J.) -- The single Powerball ticket sold in New Jersey that matched all six numbers in Saturday night's $338.3 million jackpot drawing was sold at a popular truck stop close to the New Jersey Turnpike, according to the store's manager.

The manager of Love's Travel Stops & Country Store in Bordentown, N.J., said he was in the process of changing shifts when he received a call from a happy driver claiming to have the winning ticket.

"Upon listening to his voice he did sound happy, kind of like a relief like he wouldn't have to work as hard and nice to hear that for someone," store manager Isaiah DeVries told ABC News early this morning.

DeVries says the ticket was most likely sold to a regular.

"I'm sure if I were to see his face I would recognize him. He claimed to be a usual here in the store," DeVries said.

Lottery officials are expected to hold a press conference later Monday to officially announce the location of where the winning ticket was sold.

Love's is a popular stop for many truck drivers passing through the Garden State. Eric Johnson has been a truck driver for five years, and realizes he was in the right spot but just didn't have the right numbers.

"I wish it was me. I'm happy for him, but I wish it was me. Being a truck driver is hard," Johnson said.

If the winner takes the lump sum of $211 million, that person could afford 105 private submarines, 24 Caribbean islands and 17 vintage Ferrari Testa Rossas.

People at Love's had been dreaming big for days leading up to the drawing, but only one man will be driving off into the sunset a millionaire.

"Shucks it wasn't me, but congrats for him. Pretty happy for him," DeVries said.

In case you were wondering, the winning numbers were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31.

The price of a Powerball ticket doubled in January 2012 from $1 a game to $2, which has accounted for the swelling jackpots.

"We redesigned the game and with more money going into the game, the jackpot prize pool has doubled so more people are playing because the jackpot is growing higher," Multi-State Lottery Association President Jim Haynes said.

Powerball is offered in 44 states and your chances of striking it rich are one in 175,000,000, meaning you'd have been 25 times more likely to win an Academy Award.

After all, dreaming big is part of the Powerball fun, even for the more than 80 million people whose tickets are now worthless.

"For $2, it's inexpensive entertainment and you can buy a part of the dream," Haynes said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar242013

Winning $338 Million Powerball Jackpot Ticket Sold in New Jersey

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- A single Powerball ticket sold in New Jersey matched all six numbers in Saturday night’s drawing, meaning some lucky Jersey resident has won the sixth largest jackpot in history.

No real details about the person who purchased the ticket and won the $338.3 million jackpot have been released, but officials at the New Jersey State Lottery said more would be revealed on Monday.

If the winner chooses to take the lump sum payout, he or she will receive $221 million.

In addition to the win in Jersey, thirteen other tickets matched five numbers but were missing the Powerball. Those tickets will earn a payout of $1 million each, according to lottery officials. They were sold in New Jersey, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

One Power Play Match 5 winning ticket sold in Iowa, worth $2 million.

The winning numbers were 17, 19, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31.

The jackpot has been reset to $40 million.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb052013

'Massive' Credit Card Fraud Steals $200M

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Eighteen people have been charged in what federal prosecutors in New Jersey called one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever uncovered by the U.S. Department of Justice, spanning 28 states and eight countries.

"The defendants are part of a massive international fraud enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than $200 million in confirmed losses," FBI Special Agent James Simpson said in court records.

According to court records, the scheme involved three basic steps: The defendants allegedly created thousands of fake identities, pumped up the credit histories of those fictitious people and then racked up charges on fraudulently obtained credit cards.

"Due to the massive scope of the fraud, which involved over 25,000 fraudulent credit cards, loss calculations are ongoing and final confirmed losses may grow substantially," Simpson said.

The proceeds, authorities said, were used for luxury automobiles, electronics, spa treatments, high-end clothing and millions of dollars in gold.

Prosecutors said the scheme started with small purchases over an extended period of time to build the credit scores of the false identities.  Once good credit history was established, court records say the defendants "ran up large loans" that were never repaid.

The defendants, including the alleged ring leaders, Babar Qureshi and Muhammad Shafiq, are due to make their initial court appearances Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in a Newark, N.J., federal court.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan302013

Bubble Wrap Popping Record Set in Hawthorne, NJ

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Students at New Jersey’s Hawthorne High School have set a new Guinness World Record for the most people popping bubble wrap at one time.

The Star-Ledger reports the momentous milestone was accomplished on Monday, which was Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

The school teamed up with bubble wrap maker Sealed Air Corporation to set the new record.

According to the newspaper, 366 people popped more than 8,000 square feet of bubble wrap for two minutes while Guinness World Records adjudicator Kimberly Partrick observed and certified the record.  The event raised funds for Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Bubble wrap was invented in a garage in Hawthorne, N.J., in 1957 by two engineers, Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding.  The two were trying to make plastic wallpaper with a paper backing, but the product didn’t take off.  However, they realized their invention could be used as a packaging material and they founded Sealed Air Corporation in 1960. 

Today, the Sealed Air Corporation has annual revenues that exceed $3 billion.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan092013

Man Arrested Climbing Storm-Tossed Roller Coaster in NJ

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J.) -- New Jersey police arrested a man on Tuesday who scaled an iconic Jersey shore roller coaster that was swept out to sea following Superstorm Sandy, and planted an American flag.

News 12-New Jersey identified the man as Christopher Angelo, 38, who told the station he was trying to raise awareness for victims of the storm.

A police boat met Angelo as he walked to the bottom of the coaster.  The boat brought him ashore, where he was handcuffed and arrested.

The Jet Star, already a Jersey shore landmark made popular by the MTV reality show Jersey Shore, gained new fame when it was tossed into the sea during the storm.

Last week, Congress passed a $9 billion relief package for East Coast areas affected by the storm, after the House balked on voting for a $60 billion aid bill.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan092013

Body Pulled from NJ Lake Where Teens Fell Through Ice

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Officials pulled a body from the partially frozen New Jersey lake Tuesday afternoon where two teenagers had fallen through the ice less than 24 hours before.

Dive teams relaunched the search of Budd Lake in Mount Olive Township in Morris County Tuesday morning for the two missing teens who fell through the ice Monday night.  Officials said Tuesday morning that the search had became a body-recovery effort instead of a rescue attempt.

The body was pulled from the lake by recovery crews just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, ABC News affiliate WABC-TV reported.  It had yet to be identified.

Police said the two teens fell through the ice at the lake in Morris County.  The search was called off Monday night at 9:30.  Police believe the teenagers fell through the ice at around 6:19 p.m., WABC reported.

The Morris County prosecutor's office on Tuesday morning said New Jersey state police had an airboat with divers on the lake in an effort to facilitate the recovery mission.  

A man sitting on his porch along the shore of Budd Lake Monday evening said he heard calls for help from the partially frozen lake.  He said that he walked toward a light, which might have been a cellphone.  The man said that he heard two people saying they did not want to die, WABC reported.

The voices, and the light, eventually disappeared.

WABC identified one of the missing teens as 15-year-old Clyde Schimanski III.  His father said that, according to witnesses, his son might have died making his own rescue attempt.

"Clyde was out there, and he seen the kid go through the ice," Clyde Schimanski Jr. said.  "And Clyde went to save him on his bicycle.  And then they both went in.  And then people on the shore heard them screaming.  He was a very good child.  I'm going to miss him a lot."

Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum indicated in a post on his Facebook page Monday night that the two teenagers were dead.

"I am sad to report that we likely lost two young adults in Mount Olive this evening.  May God bless their families and help ease their pain," he wrote.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan082013

Search for Teens Who Fell Through Ice Now Recovery Effort

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Dive teams relaunched the search of a partially frozen New Jersey lake Tuesday morning for two missing teenagers who were walking boats across the lake when they fell through the ice Monday night, but officials said the search is now a body-recovery effort instead of a rescue attempt.

Police said the two teens fell through the ice at Budd Lake in Mount Olive Township in Morris County. The search was called off Monday at 9:30 p.m. Police believe the teenagers fell through the ice at around 6:19 p.m., WABC-TV reported.

The Morris County prosecutor's office Tuesday morning said New Jersey state police have an airboat with divers on the lake in an effort to facilitate the recovery mission. A man sitting on his porch along the shore of Budd Lake Monday evening said he heard calls for help from the partially frozen lake. He said that he walked toward a light, which might have been a cellphone. The man said that he heard two people saying they did not want to die, WABC reported.

The voices, and the light, eventually disappeared.

WABC identified one of the missing teens as 15-year-old Clyde Schimanski III. His father said that, according to witnesses, his son might have died making his own rescue attempt.

"Clyde was out there, and he seen the kid go through the ice," Clyde Schimanski Jr. said. "And Clyde went to save him on his bicycle. And then they both went in. And then people on the shore heard them screaming. He was a very good child. I'm going to miss him a lot."

Mount Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum indicated in a post on his Facebook page Monday night that the two teenagers were dead.

"I am sad to report that we likely lost two young adults in Mount Olive this evening. May God bless their families and help ease their pain," he wrote.

The incident at Budd Lake is the latest in a winter that has seen numerous accidents on lakes across the United States.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec312012

Police Release 911 Call of NJ Teen Accused of Faking Kidnapping

Obtained by ABC(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey State Police have released the 911 call of a teen who said she was abducted from her home in September by a 28-year-old black man.

Kara Alongi, 16, sent an ominous tweet on Sept. 30, saying, "There is someone in my house, call 911."

The tweet sparked national attention on Twitter, prompting a search for the missing teen after authorities were flooded with phone calls from around the country.  The tweet was retweeted more than 32,000 times.

Two days after the tweet, police found Alongi at a rest stop along the New Jersey Turnpike while she was on the phone with a 911 operator.  She voluntarily left her home in Clark, N.J., and was not abducted, officials say.

Her family declined to comment and police have not responded to requests for comment on whether they will charge the teen for making the alleged fake call.

In the Oct. 2 call, Alongi told a 911 operator that she was placed in a taxi cab by someone she described as a 28-year-old black man who entered her house.

"A few days ago I was inside and some guy came and made me go. ... I was in my house and some guy came in and told me that I had to do all this stuff.  I don't know his name, but he was black and he said he was, like, 28," Alongi told the 911 operator.

The operator asked Alongi to explain how she was forced out of her home.

"He told me I had to go into a cab and I had to meet someone, but I don't remember where I was," Alongi responded.

Alongi said the cab took her to the train station and was told by her abductor to get on a bus, but she didn't know whether the man got on the bus after her.

"There was a cab at my house and I went in and then I went into the train station and then I don't remember where I was. ... And I woke up today in, I don't know, somewhere, it was like the country. … And now I'm here," she said.

The call ends when a New Jersey State Trooper arrives at a Burger King to pick up Alongi, who was unharmed.

Police have not said why they think Alongi made up the story, but they believe that the teen went to the train station alone.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec052012

Cory Booker Faces Challenges in First Days on Food Stamp Budget

Cindy Ord/Getty Images(NEWARK, N.J.) -- Chickpeas and lettuce. No coffee. That’s what Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker had for breakfast on his second day living on the food budget of an average American receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

From Dec. 4 to Dec. 12, Booker has agreed to eat only what he could buy with just under $30 – about $4 per day – and with fewer than two days completed, Booker’s already faced challenges.

 

Politico tried to help the mayor out by suggesting low-cost meals, but Booker rejected their meat-laden ideas, tweeting, “Not helping much. I’m a vegetarian.”

On his first day, Booker ran into scheduling troubles and had to go for a long stretch with nothing to eat since he did not have access to any of the groceries he bought Monday.

Booker told constituents about his first day on the SNAP challenge in a fireside-chat-style video posted to WayWire, the social media site he co-founded.

The Newark mayor agreed to document his experience taking the SNAP challenge on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WayWire. Booker, known for his social media savvy, has tweeted photos of his grocery receipt and his breakfast so far this week.

Talking with Elizabeth Reynoso, Newark food policy director, in a video posted to WayWire at the beginning of the challenge, Booker said he’s excited “to help people understand these programs aren’t perfect, and we need to start thinking of policy issues in a bigger standpoint.”

“I’ve heard this ignorance sort of spouted about how people just take this money and are buying bad food – it’s just a poverty program that people are taking advantage of,” Booker said. “That’s not what I see on a daily basis as I shop in my low-income community.”

The idea for the mayor’s challenge bloomed out of a Twitter spat with a woman who said nutritional programs weren’t the government’s responsibility.

Another obstacle Booker will tackle this week is the loss of his usual java jolt.

One tweeter asked Booker where he would buy his coffee this week, to which he replied, “It isn’t in the budget. Day one, no caffeine… ”

In his video log, Booker said it was the first time he could remember that he would go a week with no coffee or caffeinated soda.

Almost a decade ago Johns Hopkins Medicine recognized caffeine withdrawal as a disorder that can cause headaches, tiredness, trouble concentrating and even flulike symptoms – hardly conducive to running a city of 278,000 people.

Michael Strahan of Live! with Kelly & Michael is also taking on the SNAP challenge. He kicked off his week tday tweeting a photo of a breakfast much heartier than Booker’s.

“Largest meal of the day,” Strahan tweeted, “three eggs, black beans, and sweet potato.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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