Jersey Shore Online https://jerseyshoreonline.com Ocean County News NJ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:25:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Brick Has Questions About Legalizing Marijuana https://jerseyshoreonline.com/brick/brick-questions-legalizing-marijuana/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:25:10 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20078 BRICK – Would Brick township join numerous other New Jersey municipalities who have vowed to ban the sale of recreational marijuana if it becomes legal in the state? While he was campaigning, Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign legislation to legalize the use of recreational marijuana within 100 days of taking office. Without seeing […]

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BRICK – Would Brick township join numerous other New Jersey municipalities who have vowed to ban the sale of recreational marijuana if it becomes legal in the state?

While he was campaigning, Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign legislation to legalize the use of recreational marijuana within 100 days of taking office.

Without seeing an actual law or at least a bill pending, Mayor John G. Ducey said he doesn’t know what the impact would be on Brick Township.

No one knows if the state would keep the tax revenue, or if the towns with dispensaries would keep it, or perhaps all towns would benefit from the tax revenue – whether they’ve banned the sale or not, he said in a recent interview.

“The problem is, even if towns ban the sale of marijuana, they can’t ban people from using it in their town since it would be a state law, and they would have the same problems without any of the benefits,” said Ducey, who is an attorney.

For example, the cost of enforcement would go up since the police department would need additional DRE (drug recognition officers), he said.

That’s true, said Brick Police Chief James Riccio, who said he is for the legal use of medicinal marijuana but “not so much for recreational use.”

Brick has two DRE officers who are trained to determine whether someone is using drugs based on certain tests. The breathalyzer is used for testing individuals who might be under the influence of alcohol, but there is no such test for prescription drugs or marijuana, Riccio said, so the DRE officers would need extra training.

(Photo by Micromedia Publications)

He said marijuana is way for young people to start moving onto other drugs, “because we’ve seen it, so for that reason I’m against it,” he said in a recent phone interview.

Riccio said that if the legalization of marijuana becomes law, the politicians need to consider some of the ramifications.

“For example, we have three [drug sniffing] K-9 dogs, what happens to them? The dogs can’t differentiate between marijuana, cocaine or heroin, and the sale of marijuana would still be illegal on the federal level, which would cause confusion,” Riccio said. “We need answers to these things.”

The police chief said that police applicants get screened and police officers get randomly screened for drugs and “I’d be inclined not to accept an applicant who tested positive.”

Brick Council President Heather deJong said that even though it is currently not legal to use or sell marijuana in New Jersey, and no bill has been posted in the state legislature, she heard a rumor that any town that opts out of allowing the sale of marijuana would also be opted out of any potential tax influx from the state.

“Hypothetically, if it were legal to use and sell, it would still be legal to use in those towns where selling has been banned,” deJong wrote in an email.

“With that you are still getting all the risk, and it would be monetarily irresponsible to ban the sale,” deJong said. “We still would have the added cost of training and detection for our law enforcement along with whatever hidden costs that would be found through legislation.”

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Todd Frazier Meets Hometown Fans https://jerseyshoreonline.com/toms-river/todd-frazier-meets-hometown-fans/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:02:26 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20055 LAKEWOOD – The New York Mets play their home games at Citi Field. On Saturday, Pine Belt Chevrolet was Citi Field South. Hundreds of fans – many wearing Mets hats, T-shirts and sporting other items – turned out for a Meet and Greet session that starred third baseman Todd Frazier, the former Toms River East […]

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LAKEWOOD – The New York Mets play their home games at Citi Field.

On Saturday, Pine Belt Chevrolet was Citi Field South.

Hundreds of fans – many wearing Mets hats, T-shirts and sporting other items – turned out for a Meet and Greet session that starred third baseman Todd Frazier, the former Toms River East American Little League and Toms River High School South standout who recently signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the team.

Also on hand to sign autographs were Carl Banks of New York Giants fame, Frankie Edgar, who starred in wrestling at Toms River High School East and excels on the mixed martial arts circuit, and Alana, the agency’s model who has appeared in numerous television commercials promoting the dealership with Frazier.

Each celebrity signed autographs for free. Admission was free. The session took place in the showroom.

Frazier, who signed for every fan who desired his signature, led East American to the Little League World Series title in 1998. The team gained instant celebrity status and wound up on a Wheaties box. Frazier signed a Wheaties box. He obliged a mother and her young daughter and smiled while posing for pictures with the duo and the box.

“I have good memories of playing Little League,” Frazier said. “Signing those types of things means that much more to me.”

Frazier, who turned 32 on Feb. 12, inked bats, baseballs, Pine Belt Chevrolet baseball caps and posed for numerous photos with fans. He signed a New York Yankees poster of him batting last season when he was traded to the team from the Chicago White Sox.

Frazier signed a Yankees backpack. He posed for pictures with fans and signed their Yankees batting helmets. He signed a ticket for a game last year between the Yankees and the White Sox.

Todd Frazier speaks at Citi Field press conference. At right is New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. (Photo courtesy New York Mets Media Relations Department)

The two-time major league All-Star signed pictures of himself in a Mets uniform, exchanging pleasantries with fans, smiling and tapping them on their shoulders while sitting at a table.

Frazier began his professional career with the Cincinnati Reds. He was eager to sign for one of the club’s fans. The fan wore a Cincinnati T-shirt and red hat and carried a Mets cap. Frazier signed for the fan.

“C’mon up,” he told the fan as the fan approached the table.

Frazier told a young female fan who wore a Mets cap, “I love that hat.” He signed for fans who wore a David Wright jersey. Wright’s Mets career has been slowed by injuries and the Mets signed Frazier to take his place.

Frazier told one crying little boy, “Hey, don’t be crying.”

“How are you?” Frazier asked one middle aged female fan while shaking her hand. “Have a good season,” one male fan told Frazier.

The celebrities signed one item per fan and posed for one picture per fan. One male fan asked Frazier to go the extra mile, asking him to sign a baseball with more than a signature.

“I can’t put an inscription on it,” Frazier smiled as he told the fan. “I apologize.”

One male fan said to Frazier, “Let’s go Mets.” Frazier thanked the fan.

Frazier posed for pictures and signed autographs for each member of a family of Yankees fans. He exchanged fist bumps with fans. The former Rutgers University standout signed an autograph for a male fan who wore a Rutgers crew team shirt. Frazier signed for a fan who sported a Frazier No. 29 Yankees jersey.

Frazier frequently told fans after signing, “Have a good night.”

He stood from the table and posed for a picture with a fan who wore a Mets shirt and walked with the aid of a cane.

“Let’s go Mets,” the fan said.

“It’s go time,” Frazier said, smiling.

Frazier posed with a young male fan who wore a Mets jersey that contained Frazier’s name. The fan also wore a Mets hat. One fan wore a jersey honoring former Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson. Another fan wore a jersey that honored ex-Mets catcher Mike Piazza.

Todd Frazier speaks at Citi Field press conference. At right is New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. (Photo courtesy New York Mets Media Relations Department)

An employee had announced Frazier’s entrance into the showroom. He entered the room to cheers and smiles and waved to fans as he led Mr. Met (the team’s mascot) into the room.

“The fans were great, unbelievable,” Frazier said after the program, which lasted for approximately 90 minutes. “I knew there would be a couple of people here. There must be a lot of undercover Mets fans around. It only means good things for me as there will be a lot of fans at our games.”

Frazier said he enjoys hitting at Citi Field.

“I like it,” the Toms River resident said. “It’s good there. It’s a comfortable stadium to play in. I have hit a good number of home runs there. It’s close to home. It’s a beautiful place. It’s one of those things. When you step into the batter’s box, it has the comforts of home.”

Frazier will report to spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fl., on Saturday, Feb. 17. The date of the first full squad workout is Monday, Feb. 19. The Mets’ manager is Mickey Callaway, who is in his first season with the team.

“I will use spring training to get acclimated with everyone,” Frazier said. “I want to understand the philosophy of Mickey and start to develop that winning way so that we can get back into the playoffs and start dominating.”

Frazier said he has spoken to Mets right fielder-first baseman Jay Bruce, Wright, Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak and each member of the coaching staff. Swarzak was signed as a free agent.

“Everyone is pumped and ready to go,” Frazier said. “There is a whole new regime. We are anxious to get this thing going and get it kick started in Queens.”

Frazier, who emerged as the Yankees’ spiritual leader, said he enjoys playing a prominent role.

“A leader is what I am,” he said. “I like leading the younger kids. I show it on the field. I just believe in what I do. I will give the Mets energy and enthusiasm. I play with the will to win – 100 percent every day. I am just a guy who hustles and plays his heart out and tries to be the best player he can be.”

Frazier has taken a pay cut in a slow free-agent market. He earned $20.25 million over the past two seasons, according to Sports Illustrated. He will receive $8 million this year and $9 million next season.

Asked why numerous free agents have yet to be signed, Frazier said with a bit of a snarl, “Good question. You have to ask a lot of general managers and team presidents. I feel for the players who have not been signed. It was not fun for me. It was tough on my family. I feel very relieved to have signed. I am glad it is over.

“The game is starting to change. The players have to look out for themselves a little bit more. Let’s not sugarcoat it. It was frustrating. It has been a crazy offseason, but I could not have asked for a better outcome.”

Todd Frazier enjoys meeting his fans in Lakewood. (Photo courtesy Bob Penny/Pine Belt Chevrolet)

Frazier is the fifth former Ocean County high school player to compete for the Mets. He joins Al Leiter (Central Regional), Jeff Musselman (Central), Jerry Dipoto (Toms River North) and Bob Macdonald (Point Pleasant Beach). Dipoto is the Seattle Mariners’ general manager.

“I am in pretty good company,” Frazier said. “I always have good conversations with Al about life, Toms River and baseball.”

Fans enjoyed meeting Frazier.

“Todd is a good player and I guess he makes the Mets better,” said Bryan Samuel, 32, of Jackson Township, and a member of the United States Army Reserve. “He hits a lot of home runs. Todd and I were in Little League at the same time. I competed in the Lakewood Little League. Todd is quite popular in the local community. He is down to earth and a real fan favorite. He is a hometown boy and he is loyal. Even when he was with the Reds, the White Sox and the Yankees he was always true to where he came from.

“Todd is a team player who elevates everyone else who is with him on the team. He makes them better. This is the first time I will meet him. Let’s go Mets.”

Rene Ashman of Laurence Harbor said she is a fan of Frazier’s and the Mets.

“He puts in hard work and plays the game hard,” she said. “He gives to his community and has never forgotten where he has come from. That is the best thing.”

John Mazurick, 67, of Toms River, said he has followed Frazier since his Little League days.

Todd Frazier (left) strikes a pose with Bob Penny, a Pine Belt Chevrolet salesman. Photo courtesy Pine Belt Chevrolet

“He is a real nice guy and an all-around good athlete,” Mazurick said. “He is a great player. He won the Home Run Derby championship and the Little League World Series championship. Plus, he is from New Jersey and my hometown now, Toms River.”

Mazurick said he recently saw Frazier at Sub Doctors in Toms River.

“I said, ‘Hello, how are you doing?’ ” Mazurick recalled. “I saw his picture plastered all over the wall. Buffalo wings are his favorite. He is a real nice guy, a family guy.”

One of the youngest fans at the event was six-year-old Joey Ortenzi of Jackson.

“I like Todd more than the Mets,” he said. “I liked him when he was on the Yankees. He hits a lot of home runs. I want to be just like him when I grow up.”

“It is exciting that he is here,” said Ortenzi’s mother, Autumn Ortenzi. “The kids are excited and everyone is happy. He is local and is always seen around town.”

A member of the Mets’ front office is former Toms River High School East baseball player Charles Mule, who works in the team’s community relations department. He attended Seton Hall University.

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Ocean County’s Prosecutor: Will He Stay Or Will He Go? https://jerseyshoreonline.com/ocean-county/ocean-countys-prosecutor-will-he-stay-or-will-he-go/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:02:01 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20063 OCEAN COUNTY – It’s the governor’s prerogative to appoint county prosecutors. Can petitions to a Democrat governor sway him to reappoint a Republican appointee? Ocean County officials hope so. It’s not only the county freeholders who want prosecutor Joseph Coronato to keep his job, an appointment he’s had since 2013 under former Governor Chris Christie. […]

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OCEAN COUNTY – It’s the governor’s prerogative to appoint county prosecutors. Can petitions to a Democrat governor sway him to reappoint a Republican appointee?

Ocean County officials hope so.

It’s not only the county freeholders who want prosecutor Joseph Coronato to keep his job, an appointment he’s had since 2013 under former Governor Chris Christie. The county’s Police Chiefs Association and Association of School Board Administrators, and a county-wide initiative headed by police chaplain James Occhipinti, is asking Gov. Phil Murphy to let the prosecutor finish what he’s started.

“This really represents an extraordinary outpouring of support from law enforcement, community itself, and from community organizations, that reflect the prosecutor’s distinguished service to Ocean County,” Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little said at the Feb. 7 freeholder meeting. “This board is requesting Gov. Murphy to consider Joe Coronato for reappointment as Ocean County Prosecutor.”

Joseph Coronato (Photo courtesy Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

Coronato has a long career in law, stretching back 43 years. He’s served as the state’s deputy attorney general, assistant prosecutor in Atlantic County, and a private-practice attorney in Toms River. He was sworn in as Ocean County prosecutor March 22, 2013.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be the prosecutor. It’s really the best job,” Coronato said. “I’ve instituted programs—as hard as it is to believe five years have gone by as quickly as they have—and I’d like to finish out some of the programs I’ve instituted. It’s not that easy to get them started, and it would be great to be reappointed and have another five years to finish out a lot of the work that I’ve done. So, the answer is if given the opportunity, I’d like to continue to serve, but that’s a little bit out of my hands.”

Although it’s been reported that his term ends in March—and it might—he will stay on until the governor appoints and senate approves either him or another candidate, however long that takes.

“He’s provided education to kids to avoid drugs…he’s done prosecutions and strict liability, the highest in the state in terms strict liability prosecutions. He’s tried to do whatever he can in terms of treatment,” prosecutor’s office public affairs director Al Della Fave said.

Strict liability can mean charging a dealer with the death of someone they sold drugs to.

The freeholders showed a united front (John Kelly was absent from the Feb. 7 meeting) in support for Coronato’s reappointment.

“When the governor changes, he changes everyone else, which is true. There’s no question about it,” Freeholder Joseph Vicari said. “Every several months I get a report from the medical examiner’s office, and every time I get it, I can’t believe what’s taking place in Ocean County.”

He said he came to Ocean County from North Jersey to escape the drug problems plaguing that area.

“Joe Coronato had done not only so much, and is respected by local law enforcement, he’s made a name for himself throughout the State of New Jersey,” Vicari said. “…Let’s put politics aside: who is the best person for the job?”

Freeholder John Bartlett Jr. called Coronato “passionate” and “proud” in his role as prosecutor. The county should have some say in who is prosecutor, he echoed Vicari, because the county does foot the office’s bills.

“We do pay the freight. Therefore, I think it is altogether reasonable that we have a voice, and again, not only a voice because we’re paying for that office, our taxpayers, but that we are also responding to all of these organizations and groups which have asked and requested of the governor that this reappointment be made,” Bartlett added.

Freeholder Virginia Haines spoke last on her support of Coronato’s reappointment, focusing on his work to combat the opioid crisis destroying families across the state.

“[Coronato] is recognized as the top prosecutor in the State of New Jersey,” Haines said. “There has been a reduction in the opioid deaths because of what he has done, and the one thing I think the governor needs to look at is to look at those statistics of what he has done. You have fellow prosecutors that call upon our prosecutor to go there and talk to them about what he has done, programs he has put in place to fight the opioid epidemic that is here.”

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

Ocean County saw 53 overdose deaths in 2012, the year before Coronato took office. There were 112 reported overdose deaths the following year. During his tenure, such deaths peaked in 2016 at 216, a number slashed to 163 in 2017. There have been seven reported overdose deaths thus far in 2018.

“Fentanyl became a factor in the end of 2015 into 2016. We believe that is why we saw the increase in the OD deaths for those two years,” Della Fave said. Nearly 70 percent of overdose deaths now involve fentanyl.

The same year overdose deaths peaked, OD reversals saw their highest numbers, with 502 reported. Ocean County was the first county in the state to equip its officers with Narcan, a nasal naloxone spray for emergency treatment of suspected opioid overdose.

In addition, Coronato’s office has many other firsts to combat opioid use: the emergency room overdose recovery program; Blue HART program, used by seven county police departments to assist drug users for recovery; pawn shop registry database, which tracks known users to stop them from selling goods to feed their habit; K-9s in school to assure Drug Free School Zones; and training for school nurses in how to use Narcan.

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Barnegat: New Committeeman Fills Vacancy https://jerseyshoreonline.com/southern-ocean/barnegat-new-committeeman-fills-vacancy/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:01:33 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20068 BARNEGAT – At its most recent meeting, the Township Committee received a new member, filling the spot left vacant after former Committeewoman Susan McCabe’s resignation. Joseph Lopes was sworn in as the newest committeeman by Mayor Frank Caputo. The committee unanimously passed a resolution appointing Lopes before he was sworn in. Lopes took his seat […]

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BARNEGAT – At its most recent meeting, the Township Committee received a new member, filling the spot left vacant after former Committeewoman Susan McCabe’s resignation.

Joseph Lopes was sworn in as the newest committeeman by Mayor Frank Caputo.

The committee unanimously passed a resolution appointing Lopes before he was sworn in. Lopes took his seat on the stand and thanked everyone for the opportunity to serve the residents of Barnegat and for the vote of confidence.

“I want Barnegat to be the best place in the world,” said Lopes, noting that this was a special moment for him.

During the committee reports, each of the members took a moment to congratulate Lopes on his new position.

“I think he is going to have his heart in the right place,” said Committeeman Albert Bille. Mayor Caputo also wished him the best of success.

The position on the committee opened up following McCabe’s resignation in Jan. 1 of the New Year. McCabe resigned as committeewoman to take over a new position with the township, Labor Attorney/Human Resources Director.

Following her resignation, Township Clerk Michele Rivers previously noted that it could take up to 45 days to fill her vacancy.

Mayor Caputo explained at the meeting that the process for filling the open seat on the committee began by advertising the position before a Republican board. Three names were brought to the Ocean County Chairman, where the candidates were then interviewed by the board, he said. From there, the chosen candidate was identified to the township committee and then voted on during the meeting.

Barnegat Municipal Dock (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

Many residents wished Lopes success as he takes on this new role with the township. However, those same residents also expressed disappointment with McCabe’s new position. Numerous residents came forward during public session to note that McCabe’s notable increase in pay was disconcerting to many, and that they didn’t believe her new position would be saving the township money.

According to a township press release, it stated that the township spent $250,000 plus an additional $43,000 on legal expenses last year when the decision was made to bundle all legal positions together into one. Now, the township has decided to split legal responsibilities into three positions, including McCabe’s, costing the town an approximate total of $240,000.

Township Administrator Martin Lisella, himself a former committeeman, noted that for McCabe’s potion, she will not be paid salary, but rather will be paid on a case by case basis in the amount not to exceed $90,000 for the year. Conflict Attorney Sean Kean will be compensated in the same manner, not to exceed $100,000.

Officials made efforts during the meeting to clarify these concerns of the residents relevant to McCabe’s new position.

Winter Prep

During committee reports, Committeeman John Novak noted that the township is ready for the next potential snow event.

Novak said that the township has 500 tons of salt and 9 salt trucks ready. He noted it costs approximately $8,998 for salting for just one snow event.

He also said that the township has 30 snow plows ready. “It takes about 11 hours to plow all of our streets for a 2-3” snow event,” he explained, stating it takes even longer for a larger snow event.

Meeting Time Changes

Mayor Caputo reiterated during the meeting that March will begin the new committee meeting times for the New Year. The meeting on March 6 will take place at 10 a.m. as opposed to the regular 6:30 p.m. meeting time.

The meetings will alternate between morning and evening times every month. The committee now only holds one meeting per month.

Residents who spoke at the meeting expressed concern about the meeting changes and were generally not in favor of the idea.

Resident Marianne Clemente noted that she thought the meeting changes would, “cut down on the input of the working people,” of Barnegat. Others agreed that 10 a.m. meetings would be difficult for them to attend due to work schedules.

Mayor Caputo and Deputy Mayor Al Cirulli noted that the committee plans to revisit the idea of changing the meeting times back in the event that the new times do not work best for both the committee and residents.

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Murphy’s Law On Marijuana https://jerseyshoreonline.com/editorial/murphys-law-on-marijuana/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:01:19 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20074 A new governor always brings in new changes. But none of them, it seems, has caused more discussion than Gov. Phil Murphy’s promise to legalize recreational marijuana. Environmentalists focus on his commitment to the environment. Economists are scrutinizing his economic platform. But everyone seems to have an opinion about his campaign promise to legalize. Toms […]

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A new governor always brings in new changes. But none of them, it seems, has caused more discussion than Gov. Phil Murphy’s promise to legalize recreational marijuana.

Environmentalists focus on his commitment to the environment. Economists are scrutinizing his economic platform. But everyone seems to have an opinion about his campaign promise to legalize.

Toms River, Berkeley, and Point Pleasant Beach have taken steps toward banning the use of recreational marijuana. Officials in other towns, like Manchester, have mentioned it. South Toms River would like to hear residents’ opinion before they make a decision.

Banning something that is already illegal is strange. I suppose we should be saying that the town “continues to outlaw” the use of recreational marijuana.

Even in a town where the drug is banned, the law’s language specifically bans the recreational use, not the medicinal use.

All this will be nothing but talk if the state never legalizes it.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Make sure your politicians hear your voice.

Chris Lundy
News Editor

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Holbrook Little League Leaders Charged With Stealing $$$ https://jerseyshoreonline.com/jackson/holbrook-little-league-leaders-charged-stealing/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:07:34 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20052 JACKSON – While the boys of the Holbrook Little League were everybody’s hometown heroes, police say the men managing the team’s finances were villains. League president Anthony M. Del Vecchio, 63, and league treasurer John M. Lehmann, 55, both of Jackson Township, were charged with 2nd degree Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Theft for the […]

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JACKSON – While the boys of the Holbrook Little League were everybody’s hometown heroes, police say the men managing the team’s finances were villains.

League president Anthony M. Del Vecchio, 63, and league treasurer John M. Lehmann, 55, both of Jackson Township, were charged with 2nd degree Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Theft for the misappropriation of league finances, according to a release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

(Photo courtesy Holbrook Little League)

The county’s Economic Crimes Unit began investigating them in December after receiving an anonymous tip about theft of funds, police said. What followed was an extensive review of Holbrook’s finances from 2014 until now.

Executive board members allowed the prosecutor’s office to look at the books, the press release noted. Board members raised concerns about discrepancies in the accounts.

It was determined that Del Vecchio and Lehmann, who were the only two who had full control of the money, had converted more than $118,000 of the Holbrook Little League funds to themselves. Additionally, the Economic Crimes Unit reported that Lehmann used the league’s debit card for more than $500 worth of charges inappropriately.

Del Vecchio surrendered to the prosecutor’s office this morning, accompanied by his attorney, Richard LoMurro of Freehold. Lehmann was arrested at his job later in the day with the assistance of Rahway police.

Detective Denis Mitchell, of the prosecutor’s office’s Economic Crime Unit, was the lead investigator on the case. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jill O’Malley reviewed the findings and approved the charges.

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Central Security Discussed After Parkland Shooting https://jerseyshoreonline.com/berkeley/central-security-discussed-parkland-shooting/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:53:27 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20048 BERKELEY – At the most recent Central Regional Board of Education meeting, a few residents asked what the district has done, and can do in the future, to prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida. Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said that whenever the district identifies a security issue, they move to fix it, even […]

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BERKELEY – At the most recent Central Regional Board of Education meeting, a few residents asked what the district has done, and can do in the future, to prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida.

Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said that whenever the district identifies a security issue, they move to fix it, even before a national tragedy like this one.

There’s an armed officer in each building, he said. The cafeteria can be locked down. There are cameras throughout the buildings. Last year, 3 mm film was put on windows so they won’t shatter. They can still be broken into, but it slows down someone who is trying to get in.

There are still things they want to improve, he said, without going into too much detail that someone could take advantage of a weakness.

The district is considering strobe lights that would warn anyone who is outside not to come inside, he said.

Photo courtesy National Police Car Archives

The truth of the matter is that no school is perfectly safe, he said. If someone wants to get in, they’ll find a way.

“It’s tough to stop crazy but we are going to make it as difficult as possible,” he said.

One resident, Cheryl Altieri, asked if the faculty have an ear to the students to find out what they’re going through. Sometimes, after a tragedy like this, there are signs that, in retrospect, spelled out that a kid was having a hard time and the tragedy could have been prevented.

Parlapanides said that the faculty work to make it so students always feel safe talking to them about anything. Students know if they see something, they should say something.

High School Principal Doug Corbett said the one thing good about kids being addicted to social media is that they put everything out there.

Another resident, Kelly Gross, wanted more trained security people in the school, rather than faculty being in charge of security procedures. District officials said they would entertain that suggestion.

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Stafford Man Charged In Dog’s Death  https://jerseyshoreonline.com/southern-ocean/stafford-man-charged-dogs-death/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:44:49 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20045 STAFFORD – A 24-year-old Manahawkin man was found guilty of animal cruelty for causing the death of a Pomeranian named “Diesel.” Joseph J. Russo was found guilty by a Grand Jury that he caused the death of the dog, according to a press release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Diesel’s owner said that she […]

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STAFFORD – A 24-year-old Manahawkin man was found guilty of animal cruelty for causing the death of a Pomeranian named “Diesel.”

Joseph J. Russo was found guilty by a Grand Jury that he caused the death of the dog, according to a press release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Diesel’s owner said that she had rented a room at Russo’s home, and had left the dog alone in the house with him at around 1 a.m. on May 30, 2016. When she returned a few hours later, Russo had told her Diesel died of a seizure, police said.

Stafford police, the prosecutor’s office, the NJ SPCA and Stafford’s animal control investigated. After performing a necropsy and investigating people, Russo was charged with animal cruelty, a 3rd degree crime. The grand jury then found him guilty.

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Donovan Catholic Senior Gets Perfect Score On AP Exam https://jerseyshoreonline.com/toms-river/donovan-catholic-senior-gets-perfect-score-ap-exam/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:04:31 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20042 TOMS RIVER – A Donovan Catholic senior has become one of the only students in the world to receive a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam. Taken back in May of 2017, Emily Ostermann aced her AP Chemistry exam joining the ranks of only two other students in the world who have achieved […]

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TOMS RIVER – A Donovan Catholic senior has become one of the only students in the world to receive a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam.

Taken back in May of 2017, Emily Ostermann aced her AP Chemistry exam joining the ranks of only two other students in the world who have achieved the same accomplishment. She was recently informed by The College Board of this achievement. Congratulations and best of luck!

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Ocean County Wants Marijuana To Stay Illegal https://jerseyshoreonline.com/ocean-county/ocean-county-wants-marijuana-to-stay-illegal/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:17:22 +0000 https://jerseyshoreonline.com/?p=20016 OCEAN COUNTY – When it comes to recreational pot, the freeholders are going to side with the Feds, not the new governor. The freeholders passed a resolution at their Feb. 7 meeting opposing any state law which might allow for the use and sale of recreational marijuana. Berkeley Township and Point Pleasant Beach have proactively […]

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OCEAN COUNTY – When it comes to recreational pot, the freeholders are going to side with the Feds, not the new governor.

The freeholders passed a resolution at their Feb. 7 meeting opposing any state law which might allow for the use and sale of recreational marijuana.

Berkeley Township and Point Pleasant Beach have proactively banned such sales, with other towns considering such bans.

Eight states—Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts—and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. However, the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 is still the law of the land, and bans the possession, use, purchase, sale or cultivation of cannabis for recreational use.

Freeholder Virginia Haines found it ironic that a government that has spent billions on anti-smoking campaigns over the decades, with a health-care system burdened by smoking-related illnesses and deaths, would even consider legalizing recreational marijuana.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (drugabuse.gov) does report that marijuana has short- and long-term consequences, both physical and mental, especially with sustained use and high doses. Some problems, such as breathing issues and increased heart rate, mimic the effects of cigarette smoke. Marijuana, along with alcohol and tobacco, are considered gateway drugs.

“Now the governor of the State of New Jersey wants to allow people to smoke marijuana. If this isn’t the complete opposite of what we’ve been talking about for 30-35 years, especially to young people not to smoke. My father died from smoking, so I know exactly what that disease can do to the lungs,” Haines said. “It’s just very ironic that all [Murphy] has cared about is the money it is going to bring in.”

The Economy Of Legalization

The Medical Marijuana Program Directory (mmpdirectory.com) pointed to Colorado’s economic growth since legalizing pot in 2014. According to MMP, which has a page dedicated to five reasons why New Jersey should legalize marijuana, “the total revenue from taxes, licenses, and fees increased 77% from calendar year 2014 to 2015, going from $76,152,468 up to $135,100,465.”

Different reports say legalizing marijuana could add $1.3 billion to NJ’s economy, although Murphy has not said how that additional revenue would be spent.

But not so fast, Freeholder John Bartlett Jr. said.

Besides questioning how law enforcement can determine an impaired state, he asked how Murphy thinks the state will see revenue.

“What makes even less sense is the proposition that the state may gain $300 million in tax revenues from taxing it. That’s preposterous. Do you know why,” Bartlett asked. “Because this has to be a cash economy, because it is federally illegal. A business selling marijuana in New Jersey cannot deposit that money in a bank. So, if you can’t deposit it in a bank, you can’t write a check. And if it’s cash, it never sees the books.

“So how in the heck is the State going to collect tax revenues on a cash economy, which no one knows exactly what it is,” Bartlett said.

A New York Times Magazine feature from Jan. 4, 2018, “Where Pot Entrepreneurs Go When the Banks Just Say No,” showed how one Denver marijuana business owner solved this problem: Safe Harbor Private Banking, a division of Partner Colorado Credit Union in the Denver suburb of Arvada, provides checking accounts to marijuana businesses. They are operating in clear violation of federal law, the article makes clear.

According to NYT Magazine writer Robb Mandelbaum, clients deposited $931 million in 2017, the most of any bank or credit union willing to defy federal law and provide accounts to marijuana businesses.

The article did not touch upon how revenues were or could be collected from such businesses.

File Photo

How The Feds See Pot

Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, LSD, ecstasy, methaqualone and peyote. Despite petitions brought to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify cannabis, in 2016 the Administration refused to move it from Schedule I.

“A substance is placed in Schedule I if it has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. These criteria are set by statute,” Chuck Rosenberg, then DEA acting administrator, wrote in an Aug. 11, 2016 letter to Gov. Gina M. Raimondo of Rhode Island, Gov. Jay R. Inslee of Washington State, and Bryan A. Krumm, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Sage Neuroscience Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Schedule I includes some substances that are exceptionally dangerous and some that are less dangerous (including marijuana, which is less dangerous than some substances in other schedules). That strikes some people as odd, but the criteria for inclusion in Schedule I is not relative danger.”

Rosenberg further stated that legitimate or “meritorious” research into any benefits derived from cannabis has been supported by government agencies.

Freeholder Gerry Little noted that it is a Schedule 1 drug during his Feb. 7 comments, which were widely mocked by other media outlets, misinterpreting his statement that cocaine was less addictive than marijuana. Cocaine is a Schedule II substance.

“My Feb. 7 comment comparing cocaine (an FDA Schedule II Drug) as less addictive than marijuana (An FDA Schedule I Drug) was inaccurate,” Little said in a clarification to the media Feb. 9. “The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (FDEA) define both Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substances as drugs that have a high potential for abuse and potential for psychological and/or physical dependence. However, the FDA and the FDEA make no specific reference about the addiction potential between Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substances.

“My comment was unclear and I regret the confusion,” Little concluded.

Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy spoke on the campaign trail of legalizing recreational pot use. A bill sponsored by state senator Nicholas Scutari (D-22) would allow for the “taxing, controlling and legalizing marijuana like alcohol for adults.” The bill is currently in review for the 2018 session, but few politicians on either side of the state’s political aisle have expressed support for pot legalization.

 For Medicinal Use

No freeholder spoke against marijuana for medicinal use. Murphy signed an executive order Jan. 23 “directing the New Jersey Department of Health and the Board of Medical Examiners to review the state’s existing medical marijuana program. The goal of the review is to eliminate barriers to access for patients who suffer from illnesses that could be treated with medical marijuana,” press secretary Daniel Bryan wrote.

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