Court wipes out man’s murder conviction after finding errors before, during trial

A New Jersey appeals court has reversed a Camden man’s murder conviction due to a series of errors that it said deprived him of a fair trial. Jerry Reyes, now 34, was convicted by a jury in 2018 of killing Luis “Cito” Feliu in March 2016 near a Camden barber shop. A judge sentenced him to 60 years behind bars, with a 50-year mandatory minimum. The appeals judges, though, reversed Reyes’ convictions, cleared his sentence and sent it back to trial court in Camden County to start from scratch. Reyes was freed from the state prison system Friday, a day after the Jan. 13 decision, and is now in a c...

Woman killed in apparent subway shove at Times Square

NEW YORK (AP) — A woman was apparently pushed to her death in front of a subway train at the Times Square station Saturday, police said. Police had someone in custody in connection with the woman’s death, which happened little more than a week after the mayor and governor announced plans to boost subway policing and outreach to homeless people in the streets and trains. The victim was waiting for a southbound R train around 9:40 a.m. when she was apparently shoved, according to police. Names and other information about the woman or the person in custody haven’t been released. Subway conditions...

Flu is making a comeback in U.S. after an unusual year off

The U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after taking a year off, with flu hospitalizations rising and two child deaths reported. Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record, likely because COVID-19 measures — school closures, distancing, masks and canceled travel — prevented the spread of influenza, or because the coronavirus somehow pushed aside other viruses. “This is setting itself up to be more of a normal flu season,” said Lynnette Brammer, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The childhood deaths, Brammer said, are “unfortunately ...

A Christmas tradition like no other: Hundreds enjoy free meals, kids meet Santa at Asbury Park restaurant

Marilyn Schlossbach, hands wrapped around a cup of coffee, sat at a windowfront table at Langosta Lounge overlooking the Asbury Park boardwalk. Schlossbach, owner of six Jersey Shore restaurants, talked about the band that had canceled its show at Langosta the night before due to COVID concerns and that she would close her restaurant until New Year’s Eve for the same reason. “I’m tired,’' she said with a wan smile. “The last two years have really beaten us up. Right now, it’s triage, holding on for dear life, waiting to get to the other side.’' COVID and the new Omicron variant have caused wor...

Washington crossing the Delaware: Reenactment is revived

Hundreds gathered on both sides of the Delaware River to watch an annual Christmas Day reenactment of George Washington’s 1776 crossing, a year after pandemic restrictions forced viewers to watch it online. Reenactors in three boats completed the crossing in about an hour Saturday afternoon under overcast skies but in fairly mild temperatures, a spokesperson for Washington Crossing Historic Park said. Earlier in the month, about 5,000 people attended a dress rehearsal of the Revolutionary War reenactment amid good weather and good water conditions, volunteer Tom Maddock of the Friends of Washi...

Judge: Penn State can buy frat house where N.J. student was fatally hurt during hazing initiation

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State can buy a former fraternity house where a New Jersey student was fatally injured during a night of drinking and hazing, a judge has ruled. Centre County Judge Brian Marshall gave the university and the Beta Theta Pi fraternity’s national chapter six months to negotiate a deal, the Centre Daily Times reported Thursday. The purchase price could be determined by arbitrators if the two can’t reach an agreement. Marshall issued the ruling Tuesday, about two months after a three-day trial was held. A Penn State spokesperson said the university was “very pleased” with ...

Fauci says omicron variant is ‘just raging around the world’ and a stark warning looms

The COVID-19 omicron variant is “just raging around the world,” the White House’s top medical adviser said Sunday, and President Joe Biden is planning to give “a stark warning of what the winter will look like” for unvaccinated Americans. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the real problem” for the U.S. hospital system is that “we have so many people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet been vaccinated.” The prospect of a winter chilled by a wave of coronavirus infections is a severe reversal from ...

New Jersey’s ‘Bat Cave,’ home to 100 exotic creatures, suddenly looking for new home

When Joseph D’Angeli moved his bats, sloths, tarantulas, pythons and other wildlife creatures into an oblong building in Bergen County nearly four years ago, the landlord told him the agreement was for life, he says. “You have to understand, when you move 100 exotic, endangered, critically-important species of animals, you don’t want to move for only three years,” D’Angeli said Wednesday. “You want a new home forever, because every move is traumatic on those animals.” D’Angeli moved the Wildlife Conservation and Education Center \- better known as New Jersey’s “Bat Cave” \- into a building on ...

Ahmaud Arbery's killers may have been doomed by their own words

The video of Ahmaud Arbery’s shotgun death was a shocking piece of evidence that suddenly brought the Black man’s killing into the national consciousness. But the murder convictions of the three white men who chased him may have been secured as much by their own words to investigators the day of the shooting. Greg McMichael, who was in the bed of a pickup truck when his son killed Arbery, told police the Black man “was trapped like a rat” and he told Arbery: “Stop, or I’ll blow your f---ing head off!” Statements like that allowed prosecutors to give context to the short video that didn’t show ...

Court blocks release of mother and son charged in cold-case murders in N.J.

An appellate court has ordered a mother and son charged in the decades-old murders of two relatives in New Jersey to remain behind bars to allow prosecutors time to appeal a judge’s order granting their release as they await a retrial. Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley ordered the release of 69-year-old Dolores Morgan and 49-year-old Ted Connors from the Monmouth County Jail, but an appellate judge issued a stay of that order Friday afternoon, the Asbury Park Press reported. Their first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict following a week of delib...

Priests prayed over Christie when he was hospitalized for COVID, ex-gov. writes in new book

Former Gov. Chris Christie writes in a new book that he and others were extremely worried when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 after he contracted the illness while at the Trump White House. Christie says his priest arrived in the hospital and rubbed oils on his forehead in the sign of the cross and prayed over him, according to a report in The New York Times. The Times on Saturday reviewed an advance copy of Christie’s book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.” The book, which is published by Simon and Schus...

Ciattarelli will concede N.J. governor’s race to Murphy on Friday, source says

Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli will concede to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in the New Jersey governor’s race on Friday, nine days after Murphy was declared the winner of the closer-than-expected election, NJ Advance Media has confirmed. Ciattarelli has scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference in his hometown of Raritan to “address the people of New Jersey about his campaign.” A source with direct knowledge of his plans confirmed he will concede rather than seek a recount. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity. Politico New Jersey was the first to report Ciattarelli’s plans. The Associa...

Trump blasts Christie for telling Republicans to stop ‘wasting time’ talking about 2020 election

Donald Trump has blasted his one-time ally, former Gov. Chris Christie, for telling a major Republican group that the party needs to move on from the 2020 elections, which the former president falsely insists was marred with voter fraud. Trump said that Christie “was just absolutely massacred by his statements that Republicans have to move on from the past, meaning the 2020 election fraud. Everybody remembers that Chris left New Jersey with a less than 9% approval rating — a record low — and they didn’t want to hear this from him.” (Actually, Christie’s approval ratings only dropped as low as ...

October nor’easter could strengthen into a ‘bomb cyclone': forecasters predict

Don’t get alarmed if you hear some weather forecasters calling this fierce October coastal storm a “bomb cyclone.” It might sound like a fear-mongering buzz word, but it’s actually a term used by meteorologists to describe storms that rapidly intensify during a short time span. It’s a process known as bombogenesis, which occurs when a storm system quickly strengthens, with its atmospheric pressure dropping at least 24 millibars within 24 hours. Some weather forecasters and experts at AccuWeather and the Washington Post believe the coastal storm that is expected to dump as much as 4 to 6 inches...

Barack Obama stumps for Murphy at Newark rally as early voting begins in N.J. governor race

Former President Barack Obama visited Newark on Saturday to call for New Jerseyans to re-elect Gov. Phil Murphy, saying American politics are at a “turning point” and this race is a choice between moving forward or backwards. “Phil and Democrats everywhere are focused on you and how we can help you,” Obama told a crowd of about 700 people at an outdoor rally for Murphy at Weequahic Park. “What’s Phil’s opponent focused on? He wants to go backwards.” The appearance came the same day early in-person voting began for the first time in New Jersey history, 10 days before Murphy seeks a second term ...