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Crime & Safety U. S. News

Kentucky Man Arrested for Assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police Officer in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, April 20th, the District of Columbia unsealed a criminal complaint against Stephen Chase Randolph, 31, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, for assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer and engaging in disorderly conduct.

Randolph was arrested pursuant to a complaint and made his initial appearance in court on April 20, 2021 in the Western District of Kentucky. The complaint charges Randolph with assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer causing bodily injury; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice and Congress.

According to court documents, Randolph was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 where he was captured on video pushing into and pulling barricades from officers. As depicted in the video, Johnson became confrontational with USCP officers as he approached a barricade blocking access to Pennsylvania walkway. He can be seen forcibly pushing and pulling on the metal barricades, causing a USCP officer to fall and hit her head on the stairs before losing consciousness. He continued to assault two other USCP officers by physically pushing, shoving, grabbing and generally resisting the officers. In conversation with undercover agents, Randolph stated, “It was f****** fun,” referring to being in the crowd at the U.S. Capitol.

In the same conversation with agents acting in an undercover capacity, Randolph said he witnessed a female police officer get pushed over by barricades and that her head had bounced off the handrails by the stairs. Randolph opined that the police officer likely had a concussion because she was curled up in the fetal position after being pushed to the ground.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, along with the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department, who listed Johnson as #168 on their seeking information photos. Significant assistance in this matter was provided by the FBI-Louisville Field Office.

Categories
Crime & Safety Local News

Feds: Imprisoned Paterson Dealer Admits Selling Heroin That Killed User From Warwick, NY

A twice-imprisoned drug dealer from Paterson admitted he sold the heroin that killed a user from Orange County, NY.

Shameik “Homeboy” Byrd, 31, who’s currently serving a state prison sentence, told a federal judge via videoconference in Newark that the death of 25-year-old Kean Cabral of Warwick was caused by heroin from the batch of “Trap Queen” that he’d been selling.

State authorities tried to prosecute Byrd and a couple who they said bought the drugs from him and sold some to Cabral in April 2016.

They were over-ruled, however, by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which said they didn’t have jurisdiction to prosecute someone for a drug-induced death that occurred in another state.

Federal authorities can. So they took the case.

It all began when Cabral was found dead of an overdose at his Warwick home the morning of April 3, 2016.

Three days later, detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office – alerted by Warwick police — set up surveillance in Paterson on April 6, 2019.

The investigators stopped Anthony Potts and his girlfriend, Noel Ferguson, after seeing them buy heroin on East 34th Street, authorities said at the time.

Ferguson turned over 50 or so folds of the “Trap Queen” they’d bought, authorities said.

Investigators found that Potts and Ferguson had previously sold several folds of the same heroin to Cabral after getting it from Byrd in Paterson, they said.

Byrd previously served 4 ½ years in state prison for robbery, drug dealing and resisting arrest before being released in October 2014, records show.

He was back behind bars less than two years later and has been imprisoned since September 2016 following convictions for drug dealing and leading police on a dangerous pursuit, among other offenses.

Byrd is scheduled to be released from the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Wrightstown this August, records show. He’s then expected to go into federal custody.

Rather than face a federal trial, Byrd pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing and distributing the heroin that led to Cabral’s death, Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Rachael A. Honig said.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice’s Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and Warwick Police Department with the investigation leading to the guilty plea secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill of her Health Care Fraud Unit.

Categories
Crime & Safety Local News

Paterson Man, 21, Shot On City Street Corner

A 21-year-old shooting victim ducked into a Paterson grocery store and called police after being shot on Friday, authorities said.

The victim, a city resident, was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center with a bullet wound in his ankle after responding officers found him in the store at the corner of 10th Avenue and East 28th Street shortly before 5 p.m.

He’d apparently been shot a block or so away, responders said.

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora didn’t say whether the shooter had been caught or identified.

Categories
Sports

Ramm Named NJAC Rookie of the Year, Leads Five Pioneer Honorees

PITMAN, N.J. – William Paterson forward Daniel Ramm (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Twp. ) capped off his spectacular freshman campaign by being named the New jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Year, leading a list of five Pioneers who received all-conference accolades.

Senior Chris Fuentes (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Regional), junior Jacob Von Giebel (Lambertville, N.J./South Hunterdon) and sophomore Johnny Gadaleta (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) earned an All-NJAC Second Team selection, while sophomore goalkeeper Thomas Hatch (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon) was tabbed as an all-conference honorable mention.

Daniel Ramm (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Twp. ): NJAC Rookie of the Year, All-NJAC First Team
Ramm started all four contests for WP this spring, tallying two goals (one game winner) and one assist, helping guide the Pioneers to the semifinal round of the conference tournament.

Chris Fuentes (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Regional): All-NJAC Second Team
A starter in all four games, Fuentes contributed one goal and a team-leading three assists.

Johnny Gadaleta (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough): All-NJAC Second Team
Gadaleta started all three of his appearances this spring.

Jacob Von Giebel (Lambertville, N.J./South Hunterdon): All-NJAC Second Team
Von Giebel recorded one goal while starting three contests this spring.

Thomas Hatch (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon): All-NJAC Honorable Mention
Hatch started all four games this spring, posting 17 saves, a .708 save percentage and a 1.75 GAA.

Categories
Sports

No. 24 Baseball Runs Away from Rutgers-Newark, 10-3

NEWARK, N.J. – No. 24 William Paterson (17-5, 8-3 NJAC) spotted host Rutgers-Newark (1-10, 1-10 NJAC) a 3-0 first-inning lead before scoring 10 unanswered runs for a 10-3 baseball victory April 22.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • A single, sacrifice bunt, run-scoring base hit, single and two-run double handed the Scarlet Raiders a 3-0 first-inning edge.
  • The Pioneers tied the score during their next at-bat. Base hits by senior left fielder Frankie Deane (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) and junior designated hitter Dan Carter (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) set up an RBI-double by junior second baseman Colin Lombardo (Edison, N.J./Edison). After a groundout, senior shortstop Matt Ferrara (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) delivered a two-run double to right center.
  • Deane singled in junior third baseman Steve Yelin (River Edge, N.J./River Dell Regional), who had opened the third frame with a double to center field, for a 4-3 game in the top of the third.
  • WP added one more to its tally in the fourth when senior center fielder Steven DiGirolamo (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) launched a leadoff home run over the right-field fence.
  • Junior right fielder Adrian Alarcon (Belleville, N.J./Belleville) was issued a walk to start the top of the fifth inning, and two batters later Carter’s homer pushed the advantage to 7-3.
  • William Paterson scored during its fifth consecutive at-bat thanks to a two-run sixth, using a Yelin double to center, Carson Weis (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) triple down the right-field line and Alarcon run-scoring single through the left side.
  • One last runner touched home during the top half of the ninth when Ferrara singled in DiGirolamo.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Ferrara was 3-for-6 while adding a double and three RBI, and Yelin finished 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.
  • Carter and DiGirolamo each hit a home run.
  • Junior Jordan Manne (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) improved to 2-2 with 5.0 innings of six-hit, three-run action. He struck out three and walked four.
  • Junior Matt Lawler (Linwood, N.J./Mainland Regional) tossed 2.0 innings and allowed a hit and a walk while registering two strikeouts. Senior Jason Rivera (Clifton, N.J./Clifton) worked the final 2.0 innings, giving up one hit with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.

UP NEXT:

  • William Paterson hosts Rutgers-Newark Friday, April 23, at 3:30 p.m.
Categories
Covid-19 State News

N.J. reports 31 COVID deaths, 2,895 cases. Hospitalizations drop below 2,000.

Statewide coronavirus hospitalizations in New Jersey have fallen below 2,000 for the first time in slightly more than a month as officials on Thursday reported another 2,895 confirmed cases and an additional 31 confirmed deaths in the state.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the update during an unrelated event in Iselin and once again expressed cautious optimism the third wave of the pandemic may be starting to wane in the Garden State.

“I think we’re winning this one,” Murphy said during a radio interview Thursday afternoon on WCBS 880-AM. “And it’ll be slower than maybe we’d like, but we’re gonna get there.”

Murphy also reiterated he will have information next week on another round of reopening steps over the coming weeks, though he declined to provide more detail. He has said any steps would be incremental.

”We’re going through a fairly significant list of moves here,” he told reporters after Thursday’s event. “We just need to make sure our health numbers continue to go in the right direction. Hospitalizations going below 2,000 today is a very good, positive milestone.”
Still, Murphy also warned the state is “beginning to see” hesitancy among residents cause demand for the vaccine to slow. He said the state is brainstorming ways to “proactively reach” into communities to drum up support for the vaccine — including possibly using mobile units, public service announcements, working with businesses, and “maybe knocking on your door.”
New Jersey’s COVID-19 hospitalizations fell for the first time in three days, with 1,997 patients across the state’s 71 hospitals as of Wednesday night. That marks the first time since March 21 that there have been fewer than 2,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients statewide.
The state’s seven-day average for new confirmed positive tests is now 2,888, down 5% from a week ago and 14% from a month ago.
More than 2.63 million people have been fully vaccinated in the state as of Thursday — about 38% of the state’s 6.9 million adult residents. The state’s goal is to fully vaccinate 70% of its eligible adult population — about 4.7 million people — by the end of June.
Murphy said Thursday he still believes “with a fairly high degree of confidence” that the state will reach that mark even though some vaccine centers have reported dwindling demand.
But the governor added the state is hitting a critical point because the first shots need to be into arms by the end of May for that to happen with the pair of two-dose vaccines currently available.
”We are at the point we knew we would get to, and I think it’s this week — ironically, because this is the week we opened it up for everybody — where we knew we would have to take a series of proactive steps to reach into communities,” Murphy said. “It’s here and now.”
In all, more than 6.31 million vaccine doses have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 3.92 million people receiving at least one dose.
The state’s rate of transmission remained at 0.93 on Thursday, the same as the day before. The rate had dropped steadily in recent weeks after reaching 1.07 on April 5. Any number over 1 indicates that the outbreak is growing, with each new case leading to at least one other case. A declining transmission rate means the spread is slowing.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted on Sunday, the most recent day available, was 10.33%. Positive tests rates tend to be higher on the weekends when fewer tests are conducted. The percent positivity on weekdays last week ranged between 7.5% and 8.5%.
In all, New Jersey has now reported 868,541 confirmed coronavirus cases out of nearly 13.1 million PCR tests in the nearly 14 months since the state reported its first case on March 4, 2020. There have also been 122,039 positive antigen tests. Those cases are considered probable, and health officials have warned that positive antigen tests could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests because they are sometimes given in tandem.
The state of 9 million people has reported 25,301 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 — including 22,691 confirmed deaths and 2,611 fatalities considered probable. The probable deaths, which are revised weekly, increased Wednesday by 19 fatalities.
New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita among American states.
Dr. Edward Lifshitz, director of the state Department of Health’s communicable disease service, said Wednesday there’s no magic percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated to get to herd immunity.
“The higher your overall immunity gets in the population, the more you can expect to see numbers drop,” Lifshitz said. “But there’s not going to be one exact number where we get to 50%, 52%, or 70% where you can say, ‘That’s it, we’re not going to be seeing anymore transmission.’”
Still, Lifshitz noted that the state has begun to see cases drop dramatically among the state’s oldest population, which was among the first to become eligible for the vaccine.
So far, 83% of people 65 to 79 in New Jersey have received at least one vaccine dose in New Jersey, followed by 76% of those 80 and older, 62% of those 50 to 64, 46% of those 30 to 49, 27% of those 16 to 29.
VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY
  • ATLANTIC COUNTY – 197,404 doses administered
  • BERGEN COUNTY – 704,603 doses administered
  • BURLINGTON COUNTY – 332,512 doses administered
  • CAMDEN COUNTY – 366,758 doses administered
  • CAPE MAY COUNTY – 79,365 doses administered
  • CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 85,722 doses administered
  • ESSEX COUNTY – 493,769 doses administered
  • GLOUCESTER COUNTY – 221,986 doses administered
  • HUDSON COUNTY – 390,382 doses administered
  • HUNTERDON COUNTY – 90,959 doses administered
  • MERCER COUNTY – 249,988 doses administered
  • MIDDLESEX COUNTY – 561,295 doses administered
  • MONMOUTH COUNTY – 461,877 doses administered
  • MORRIS COUNTY – 439,142 doses administered
  • OCEAN COUNTY – 371,646 doses administered
  • PASSAIC COUNTY – 296,292 doses administered
  • SALEM COUNTY – 38,898 doses administered
  • SOMERSET COUNTY – 260,836 doses administered
  • SUSSEX COUNTY – 97,321 doses administered
  • UNION COUNTY – 352,383 doses administered
  • WARREN COUNTY – 62,133 doses administered
  • UNKNOWN COUNTY – 3,515 doses administered
  • OUT OF STATE – 151,279 doses administered
HOSPITALIZATIONS
There were 1,997 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Wednesday night — 117 fewer than the previous night, according to state data.
That included 457 in critical or intensive care (two more than the night before), with 245 on ventilators (three fewer).
There were also 288 COVID-19 patients discharged Wednesday, while 219 were admitted.
By comparison, hospitalizations peaked at more than 8,300 patients during the first wave of the pandemic in April and more than 3,800 during the second wave in December.
SCHOOL CASES
New Jersey has reported 254 in-school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,125 cases among students, teachers and school staff this academic year, according to state data.
The state defines school outbreaks as cases where contact tracers determined two or more students or school staff caught or transmitted COVID-19 in the classroom or during academic activities at school. Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school or cases that can’t be confirmed as in-school outbreaks.
There are about 1.4 million public school students and teachers across the state, though teaching methods amid the outbreak have varied, with some schools teaching in-person, some using a hybrid format and others remaining all-remote.
Murphy has said New Jersey’s schools are expected to return to full in-person classes for the next school year.
AGE BREAKDOWN
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (30.9%), followed by those 50-64 (22.7%), 18-29 (19.9%), 65-79 (10.2%), 5-17 (9.7%), 80 and older (4.4%) and 0-4 (2%).
On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with preexisting conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (46.66%), followed by those 65-79 (32.91%), 50-64 (15.95%), 30-49 (4.06%), 18-29 (0.39%), 5-17 (0.01%) and 0-4 (0.03%).
At least 8,020 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.
There are active outbreaks at 234 facilities, resulting in 2,836 active cases among residents and 3,675 among staffers. Those numbers have slowed as vaccinations continue at the facilities.
GLOBAL NUMBERS
As of early Thursday afternoon, there have been more than 144.1 million positive COVID-19 tests across the globe, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.06 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 31.87 million, and the most deaths, at more than 569,500.
Categories
Sports

Devils Goaltenders, Scorers Paltry in 5-1 Loss to Penguins

First Period

Zacha, Hischier, and Bastian started for the New Jersey Devils, and they iced the puck 14 seconds into the game. After the faceoff, Aaron Dell misplayed a puck and had to make a tight save. The Devils were unable to regain the puck, and Sidney Crosby ripped a puck from faceoff dot off of Dell’s shoulder and in to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 1-0 lead. That was not a good goal to let in. Right after the next faceoff, Cody Ceci hit a shot off the post.

After Kasperi Kapanen missed the net on an odd-man rush, Nico Hischier set Nathan Bastian up in front of Tristan Jarry. Bastian rang a shot off the crossbar and out. A couple minutes later, the Boqvist line forced the Penguins to take an icing. Nico Hischier took the puck away behind Jarry, but his attempt to move the puck to Zacha was taken away. They got back into the offensive zone, and Zacha took a shot on the rush that went wide.

Eight and a half minutes into the period, Nathan Bastian was reunited with the Wood-McLeod line. After playing with a higher intensity, Michael McLeod was called for interference in front of the Devils’ net.

On the penalty kill, Crosby missed a one-timer at the side of the net early. The Penguins had a cycle going for awhile, but Nico Hischier took the puck away and cleared it, allowing Zacha and Bastian to come on for the second minute. The Penguins moved the puck high in the zone and tried to get deflections and rebounds, and nearly got a goal off a rebound as the penalty expired. However, Dell was able to keep the puck out.

Matt Tennyson missed the net from the high slot with under eight minutes to play in the period, and the Boqvist line pushed the issue on Jarry. Boqvist missed the net with a turnaround shot, and right after Ryan Murray missed with his shot and made the puck go around the boards, Matt Tennyson blasted the loose puck past Jarry from the blueline to make it a tied game at one.

After the Devils were hemmed in their defensive zone, Janne Kuokkanen took the puck down ice and had Jack Hughes on an odd-man rush. Hughes got the puck and drove the net, drawing a trip as he set Kuokkanen up for a one-timer that was just stopped by Jarry’s pad. The Devils went to the power play.

On the power play, Jack Hughes made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone early, allowing Zacha to move it across to Hischier, who missed the net with a low shot. The Penguins then cleared the puck multiple times, killing the whole first minute without a shot attempt on goal. The second unit then came on, and the Devils were called for knocking the puck down in the offensive zone with a high stick. The Devils finally got a shot with six seconds left in the penalty, as Bratt passed across to Kuokkanen for a one-timer. However, Kuokkanen’s shot was right into Jarry – though he had plenty of net to shoot at.

Cody Ceci got something back for his shot early in the game that hit the post, as he took a shot from the blueline with just two minutes left in the period, and it went right over Aaron Dell’s right arm and blocker. 2-1, Penguins.

The McLeod line pushed play in the offensive zone for much of the last minute of the period. Damon Severson took an attempt at a deflection that didn’t make it to the net, and the Devils played it back to Jonas Siegenthaler, who faked shot, recollected, and then shot high on Jarry. However, the Penguins took a penalty, as Bryan Rust went off for holding in front of the net. On the power play, Pavel Zacha set Jack Hughes up from behind the net, and Hughes shot it right into Jarry. The Devils would have 1:43 of carryover time for the second period.

Second Period

The power play successfully set up early in the period, but Yegor Sharangovich lost the zone with a bad pass from behind the net. Jesper Bratt took a low slap shot that was steered aside, and Brian Dumoulin threw the puck over the glass. However, they called it a deflection. The Devils lost the puck off the following draw, and the power play got nothing going.

Michael McLeod dodged a hit as he entered the offensive zone, off a takeaway in the neutral zone, and nearly created a goal for Nathan Bastian when he drove the net and left the puck on the doorstep. A couple minutes later, Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich almost connected for a great redirection goal on the rush, but the puck just hopped Sharangovich’s stick.

Jesper Boqvist drew a penalty eight and a half minutes into the period, as he had a chance to bury a rebound chance and was slashed by Colton Sceviour as he tried to shoot. On the power play, Jack Hughes sent a bad pass to the point 35 seconds in, killing the cycle that they set up to begin the power play. On the following entries, a shot was blocked and cleared out, and then the Penguins cleared it again. With the second unit on, the Devils failed to get into open space and the Penguins cleared as the penalty expired.

Just after the Devils failed to make anything of a rush, as Kuokkanen sent a backhand over the net, Jack Hughes missed with a pass from the blueline. He turned it over to Sidney Crosby, who passed ahead to Jake Guentzel. Guentzel had Bryan Rust on the two-on-one, and Rust scored to make it 3-1.

On the following possession, the Penguins took the puck through all three zones, and Kasperi Kapanen ripped a shot right through Aaron Dell on the rush to make it 4-1. Jonas Siegenthaler tried to push Kapanen to the outside, and the shot went through a wide open five hole. Scott Wedgewood was then called to come into the game. The fourth goal allowed was quite terrible on Dell’s end.

With six minutes to play in the period, Sidney Crosby was called for holding the stick. On the power play, the first unit cycled a lot but could only get a shot attempt for a deflection, which did not work – before Zacha ripped a wrist shot from the circle at the end of his shift. The second unit lost the puck before they could get a good shot on goal, giving a partial two-on-one to Teddy Blueger at the end of the power play. His shot went past Wedgewood to make it 5-1.

Third Period

The McLeod line started the period for the Devils, and Ryan Murray turned the puck over right off the draw before the Devils blocked a Guentzel shot out of play. The Hughes line then came on, and Scott Wedgewood made his first save of the period on a long shot.

Andreas Johnsson was set up by Jesper Bratt for a one-timer on the rush over six minutes into the period, but Johnsson couldn’t get the shot above Jarry’s pad. A couple minutes later, after Johnsson created a turnover on the forecheck, Jesper Bratt sent a shot wide.

Nick Merkley had a chance to stuff the puck into the net, after Pavel Zacha loosened the puck from the boards behind Jarry’s net. However, the puck stayed out, and the Devils stayed down four.

Jesper Boqvist finally got the Devils back into the offensive zone with 6:55 to play, after the Penguins and Devils played back and forth in the neutral zone for awhile. He went in on two Penguins, and skated toward the outside for a wrist shot, which was gloved and frozen for the faceoff by Jarry.

Andreas Johnsson hit the post after taking a feed from Nico Hischier low in the offensive zone. He one-timed a shot from the faceoff dot, and hit the outside of the far post.

With under three minutes to play, Bryan Rust hit the post with a shot on the rush. The Devils had trouble entering the offensive zone, as the Penguins’ defensive structure suffocated their puck movement. The Penguins iced the puck with 1:42 to play. However, they were able to take the puck back following the draw.

In the final minute, the Hughes line tried and failed to enter the offensive zone and set up, as the Penguins continually chased them off the puck. The Devils lost 5-1.

The Game Stats: The NHL.com Game Summary | The NHL.com Event Summary | The NHL.com Play by Play Log | The NHL.com Shot Summary | The Natural Stat Trick Game Stats

The Opposition Opinion: Pensburgh has it.

By The Grace of Matt Tennyson

Had Matt Tennyson not been lucky enough to score his first goal since 2015, the Devils would have been shutout tonight by Tristan Jarry. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Devils had an expected goals for of 2.83 in all situations, far outpacing the Penguins’ 1.69. So what went wrong for the Devils’ goal scorers?

The first bad move of tonight was to take Nolan Foote out of the lineup. I think this was a good time to take an extended look at Foote, and it confuses me why they would want to take him out after the goal-scoring ability he showed in his second NHL game.

The second mistake I noticed was how much Lindy Ruff shuffled the lines tonight. With no practice under their belt, Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha returned to play tonight. Did Ruff keep them on consistent lines? Nope. Ruff’s original configuration, Zacha-Hischier-Bastian, played just 2:28. Zacha-Hischier-Bratt played 2:04. Zacha played another 2:04 with Boqvist and Merkley, while Bratt played another 4:07 with Hischier and Johnsson – mostly in the third period. Their third period lines were by far the most effective, with Zacha’s line sporting 0.16 xGF to 0.1 xGA, and Hischier’s line with a 0.16 xGF and 0 xGA. However, the Penguins were mostly sitting back.

Given the lack of practices, I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea for Ruff to play so loosely with the lines – especially when multiple forwards are returning from injury. When the Penguins started scoring, the Devils didn’t really seem to find their footing again, and being able to stay on consistent lines could have helped them tonight.

Backup Goaltenders

The Devils need serious help this offseason in the goaltending department. Were all the goals tonight bad ones? No, but the Devils counted on their goaltenders for some not-too-extreme saves to keep the team in it tonight – and Dell and Wedgewood could not do it. Perhaps it’s unfair to lump Wedgewood with Dell tonight, but a goal allowed on eight shots and 0.48 expected goals isn’t great. As for Dell, his four goals on 15 shots and 1.32 expected goals against was tough to watch. The goaltending really could not get worse than what the team’s gotten this month.

Let’s take a look at the statistics for our goaltenders playing for Binghamton-in-Newark:

  • Gilles Senn, 12 GP, 2-7-2 with an .894 save percentage and 3.67 goals against average
  • Evan Cormier, 7 GP, 2-2-3 with an .879 save percentage and 3.48 goals against average.
  • Jeremy Brodeur, 1 GP, 0-1-0 with a .940 save percentage and 3.07 goals against average.

Gilles Senn has had to face a lot of rubber as the Binghampton goalie, and has not been completely broken down by his team’s poor defensive play. At least, he hasn’t been rocking an .838 save percentage. I think Senn is worth a look as this season winds down – because Wedgewood and Dell are not much of an answer for beyond this year, and the team needs to be evaluating its options moving forward.

Missing Zajac

The Devils could really use Travis Zajac to shadow Sidney Crosby in these games. Crosby’s line feasted on the Devils at even strength today, with a 63.16 CF% as they outshot the Devils 14 to eight and outscored them two to one. Nico Hischier fared poorly against Crosby with a 31.25 CF% in 4:43 with a goal against, while Jack Hughes only played against Crosby for 2:30.

There’s a few ways the Devils can approach this moving forward. They could get Hischier and Hughes a better group of wingers so one of them can more easily play against top competition. Or, they can sign a center to use in a shutdown role, giving Hischier and Hughes the chance to play easier competition. However, those shutdown players don’t grow on trees. Unless the Devils are willing to sign some older veterans, they’re going to need to develop a shutdown line or acquire more scoring wingers to help keep play in the offensive zone.

Your Thoughts

What did you think of tonight’s game? Did you watch? Were you hoping for a comeback? How do you feel that Matt Tennyson prevented the shutout? How do you feel about Dell and Wedgewood? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Whether you followed along in the gamethread, or on Twitter @AATJerseyBlog, thanks for reading.

Categories
Covid-19 State News

N.J. reports 46 confirmed COVID deaths, 2,961 positive tests. Nearly 2.6M people fully vaccinated.

Three weeks after officials declared a third wave of the pandemic was hitting the state, New Jersey on Wednesday reported another 2,961 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and an additional 46 confirmed deaths, while more than 3 in 10 adults have been fully vaccinated in the state.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the update at his latest COVID-19 briefing in Trenton, saying that the state’s numbers are “still not where we need them to be” but have improved in the last week or so.

“They are showing a trend that is beginning to build in the right direction,” Murphy added.
Murphy also said he expects to have details next week on further easing safety restrictions in the state, though he stressed reopening will continue to be incremental and not in one fell swoop.
“We … owe people our best guess as to what it’s gonna look like for graduations, summer on the beaches, and whatnot,” the governor said.
The state’s seven-day average for new confirmed positive tests is now 2,961, down 4% from a week ago and 11% from a month ago.
Nearly 2.6 million people have been fully vaccinated in the state as of Tuesday — about 37% of the state’s 6.9 million adult residents. The state’s goal is to fully vaccinate 70% of its eligible adult population — about 4.7 million people — by the end of June.
In all, more than 6.2 million vaccine doses have been administered in New Jersey, with nearly 3.9 million people receiving at least one dose.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 rose slightly for the second straight day, with 2,114 patients across the state’s 71 hospitals as of Tuesday night — an increase of five patients.
The state’s rate of transmission increased slightly to 0.93 after two days at 0.92. The rate had dropped steadily in recent weeks after reaching 1.07 on April 5. Any number over 1 indicates that the outbreak is growing, with each new case leading to at least one other case. A declining transmission rate means the spread is slowing.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted on Saturday, the most recent day available, was 10.94% based on 21,242 test. Positivity tests tend to be higher on the weekends when fewer tests are conducted. The percent positivity on weekdays last week ranged between 7.5% and 8.5%.

New Jersey has so far not come close to matching the prediction models that Murphy’s administration released last month to warn about the third wave. The models showed the state could peak at 5,445 daily cases and 2,669 people hospitalized with COVID-19 under a moderate scenario on April 18, which was Sunday. The worst-case scenario said the state could peak at 8,162 cases and 3,664 people hospitalized on May 18. But officials stressed those were just projections and that human behavior, including mask-wearing and social distancing, could prevent those scenarios from happening.

In all, New Jersey has now reported 865,733 confirmed coronavirus cases out of slightly more than 13 million PCR tests in the nearly 14 months since the state reported its first case on March 4, 2020. There have also been 121,617 positive antigen tests. Those cases are considered probable, and health officials have warned that positive antigen tests could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests because they are sometimes given in tandem.
The state of 9 million people has reported 25,271 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 — including 22,660 confirmed deaths and 2,611 fatalities considered probable. The probable deaths, which are revised weekly, increased Wednesday by 19 fatalities.
New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita among American states.
Dr. Edward Lifshitz, director of the state Department of Health’s communicable disease service, said there’s no magic percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated to get to herd immunity.
“The higher your overall immunity gets in the population, the more you can expect to see numbers drop,” Lifshitz said. “But there’s not going to be one exact number where we get to 50%, 52%, or 70% where you can say, ‘That’s it, we’re not going to be seeing anymore transmission.’”
Still, Lifshitz noted that the state has begun to see cases drop dramatically among the state’s oldest population, which was among the first to become eligible for the vaccine.
So far, 83% of people 65 to 79 in New Jersey have received at least one vaccine dose in New Jersey, followed by 76% of those 80 and older, 62% of those 50 to 64, 46% of those 30 to 49, 27% of those 16 to 29.
VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY
  • ATLANTIC COUNTY – 196,789 doses administered
  • BERGEN COUNTY – 697,555 doses administered
  • BURLINGTON COUNTY – 328,875 doses administered
  • CAMDEN COUNTY – 363,569 doses administered
  • CAPE MAY COUNTY – 78,903 doses administered
  • CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 85,287 doses administered
  • ESSEX COUNTY – 484,559 doses administered
  • GLOUCESTER COUNTY – 220,411 doses administered
  • HUDSON COUNTY – 385,076 doses administered
  • HUNTERDON COUNTY – 90,057 doses administered
  • MERCER COUNTY – 247,200 doses administered
  • MIDDLESEX COUNTY – 551,295 doses administered
  • MONMOUTH COUNTY – 456,207 doses administered
  • MORRIS COUNTY – 434,685 doses administered
  • OCEAN COUNTY – 367,371 doses administered
  • PASSAIC COUNTY – 292,047 doses administered
  • SALEM COUNTY – 38,705 doses administered
  • SOMERSET COUNTY – 256,967 doses administered
  • SUSSEX COUNTY – 96,130 doses administered
  • UNION COUNTY – 348,421 doses administered
  • WARREN COUNTY – 61,613 doses administered
  • UNKNOWN COUNTY – 3,465 doses administered
  • OUT OF STATE – 149,972 doses administered
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY NUMBERS (sorted by most new)
  • Essex County: 84,692 confirmed cases (368 new), 2,565 confirmed deaths (295 probable)
  • Passaic County: 63,335 confirmed cases (367 new), 1,650 confirmed deaths (195 probable)
  • Middlesex County: 83,729 confirmed cases (268 new), 2,026 confirmed deaths (246 probable)
  • Bergen County: 86,586 confirmed cases (264 new), 2,508 confirmed deaths (294 probable)
  • Hudson County: 77,617 confirmed cases (236 new), 1,989 confirmed deaths (210 probable)
  • Monmouth County: 65,967 confirmed cases (204 new), 1,421 confirmed deaths (139 probable)
  • Union County: 58,820 confirmed cases (191 new), 1,684 confirmed deaths (221 probable)
  • Ocean County: 63,964 confirmed cases (161 new), 1,927 confirmed deaths (158 probable)
  • Camden County: 46,621 confirmed cases (147 new), 1,153 confirmed deaths (98 probable)
  • Morris County: 41,166 confirmed cases (120 new), 956 confirmed deaths (249 probable)
  • Burlington County: 36,978 confirmed cases (100 new), 759 confirmed deaths (67 probable)
  • Gloucester County: 25,393 confirmed cases (97 new), 568 confirmed deaths (30 probable)
  • Mercer County: 30,761 confirmed cases (88 new), 877 confirmed deaths (43 probable)
  • Somerset County: 23,520 confirmed cases (70 new), 711 confirmed deaths (106 probable)
  • Atlantic County: 24,162 confirmed cases (64 new), 610 confirmed deaths (35 probable)
  • Cumberland County: 13,970 confirmed cases (47 new), 380 confirmed deaths (36 probable)
  • Salem County: 5,201 confirmed cases (47 new), 162 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
  • Warren County: 8,444 confirmed cases (37 new), 205 confirmed deaths (25 probable)
  • Sussex County: 11,156 confirmed cases (34 new), 223 confirmed deaths (67 probable)
  • Hunterdon County: 8,504 confirmed cases (31 new), 117 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
  • Cape May County: 4,429 confirmed cases (16 new), 169 confirmed deaths (30 probable)
HOSPITALIZATIONS
There were 2,114 patients hospitalized with confirmed (1,961) or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Tuesday night — five more than the previous night, according to state data.
That included 455 in critical or intensive care (three more than the night before), with 248 on ventilators (six fewer).
There were also 262 COVID-19 patients discharged Tuesday, while 263 new patients were admitted.
By comparison, hospitalizations peaked at more than 8,300 patients during the first wave of the pandemic in April and more than 3,800 during the second wave in December.
SCHOOL CASES
New Jersey has reported 245 in-school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,094 cases among students, teachers and school staff this academic year, according to state data.
The state defines school outbreaks as cases where contact tracers determined two or more students or school staff caught or transmitted COVID-19 in the classroom or during academic activities at school. Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school or cases that can’t be confirmed as in-school outbreaks.
There are about 1.4 million public school students and teachers across the state, though teaching methods amid the outbreak have varied, with some schools teaching in-person, some using a hybrid format and others remaining all-remote.
Murphy has said New Jersey’s schools are expected to return to full in-person classes for the next school year.
AGE BREAKDOWN
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (30.9%), followed by those 50-64 (22.7%), 18-29 (19.9%), 65-79 (10.2%), 5-17 (9.7%), 80 and older (4.4%) and 0-4 (2%).
On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with preexisting conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (46.66%), followed by those 65-79 (32.91%), 50-64 (15.95%), 30-49 (4.06%), 18-29 (0.39%), 5-17 (0.01%) and 0-4 (0.03%).
At least 8,018 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.
There are active outbreaks at 233 facilities, resulting in 2,863 active cases among residents and 3,710 among staffers. Those numbers have slowed as vaccinations continue at the facilities.
GLOBAL NUMBERS
As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been more than 143.2 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.04 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 31.8 million, and the most deaths, at more than 569,000.
Categories
Covid-19 U. S. News

FDA inspection found problems at factory making J&J vaccine

The Baltimore factory contracted to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was dirty, didn’t follow proper manufacturing procedures and had poorly trained staff, resulting in contamination of material that was going to be put in the shots, U.S. regulators said Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration released a statement and a 13-page report detailing findings from its recent inspection of the now-idle Emergent BioSciences factory.

Agency inspectors said a batch of bulk drug substance for J&J’s single-shot vaccine was contaminated with material used to make COVID-19 vaccines for another Emergent client, AstraZeneca. That batch, reportedly enough to make about 15 million J&J vaccine doses, had to be thrown out.

Other problems cited in the inspection report were peeling paint, black and brown residue on floors and walls in the factory, inadequate cleaning and employees not following procedures to prevent contamination.

Nothing made at the factory for J&J has been distributed, the FDA noted. The nearly 8 million doses of J&J vaccine given in the U.S. came from Europe.

Both Emergent and Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that they are working to fix the problems as quickly as possible.

After quality problems surfaced late last month, J&J took control of the factory. The Biden administration now is working to move AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturing to another factory. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not yet authorized in the U.S.

The Baltimore factory halted all production late last week at the request of the FDA. The agency hasn’t given emergency approval to the factory, which is needed before any vaccine material made there can be distributed.

All the bulk vaccine substance Emergent has made, plus early batches made there and then put in vials and packaged by other J&J contractors, are being stored and will undergo additional testing by the FDA, the agency said.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines that are given to the people of this nation have met the agency’s high standards for quality, safety and effectiveness,” the FDA said.

At the moment, use of the J&J vaccine is on hold in the U.S. as government health officials investigate its possible connection to very rare blood clots. Their decision on whether to allow the vaccine to be given could come Friday.

On Tuesday, the European Medicines Agency’s safety committee said its review found the blood clots are a very rare side effect but that the J&J vaccine’s benefits outweigh that risk.

Emergent, a little-known drug manufacturing contractor, was granted a major role in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus. The company has been repeatedly cited by the FDA for problems ranging from poorly trained employees to cracked vials and mold around one of its facilities, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

FDA inspectors started checking the Emergent factory in Baltimore on April 12 and finished their investigation on Tuesday.

The inspectors reviewed security camera footage that showed employees carrying unsealed bags of medical waste around in the factory, with the bags touching materials ready to be used to make vaccine batches. The footage also showed employees moving between manufacturing areas for the two vaccines without documenting whether they changed protective gowns and showered in between, as required.

The inspection report noted that Emergent didn’t sufficiently investigate the contamination of the later-discarded J&J batch and didn’t appear to have done any extra cleaning after the contamination was discovered.

“There is no assurance that other batches have not been subject to cross-contamination,” the report stated.

It also noted that the factory had inadequate procedures for assuring that the vaccine substance met all quality and purity requirements.

It’s unclear how long it will take the companies to resolve all the problems at the factory, known as Bayview.

J&J has pledged to provide 100 million doses for the U.S. by the end of May and 1 billion doses globally by the end of the year.

“Right now, we can’t speculate on any potential impact this could have on the timing of our vaccine deliveries,” J&J said in a statement.

 

Categories
Crime & Safety U. S. News

Police kill Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, who attacked 2 with knife

COLUMBUS, Ohio  — Body camera footage from other officers released Wednesday in the fatal police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a Black teenager who charged at two people with a knife, showed a chaotic scene that happened within minutes of the verdict in George Floyd’s killing and ignited outrage by many over the continued use of lethal force by police in Columbus and the U.S.

Officials with the Columbus Division of Police had released initial footage of the shooting Tuesday night just hours after it happened, which was a departure from protocol as the force faces immense scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings that have led to clashes.

Bryant was 16 and in foster care with Franklin County Children’s Services at the time of her death. Her grandmother, Debra Wilcox, described her as a shy and quiet girl, who liked making hair and dance videos on TikTok.

“The fact that I see what I saw on that video is not how I know my Ma’Khia,” Wilcox told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I don’t know what happened there unless she was fearful for her life.”

The incident has caused an outcry in the community and nationwide as Bryant’s killing is the second high-profile fatal shooting of a teenager by police in the last month. Body camera footage released last week showed an officer shoot and kill 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago.

“It’s a tragedy. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a 16-year-old. I’m a father,” Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods told reporters Wednesday. “Her family is grieving. Regardless of the circumstances associated with this, a 16-year-old lost her life yesterday.”

He added, “I sure as hell wish it wouldn’t have happened.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the Columbus shooting “tragic” and said President Joe Biden has been briefed on it.

“She was a child. We’re thinking of her friends and family and the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss,” Psaki said in a statement.

The 10-second body camera clip begins with the officer, identified Wednesday as Nicholas Reardon, getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone had called 911 saying they were being physically threatened, Woods said. It remains unclear who called the police.

The officer, who was hired by the force in December 2019, is seen taking a few steps toward a group of people in the driveway when Bryant starts swinging a knife wildly at another girl or woman, who falls backward. The officer shouts several times to get down.

Bryant then charges at another girl or woman, who is pinned against a car.

From a few feet away, with people on either side of him, the officer fires four shots, and Bryant slumps to the ground. A black-handled blade similar to a kitchen knife or steak knife lies on the sidewalk next to her.

A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”

The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

The race of the officer wasn’t clear and he was taken off patrolling the streets for the time being.

Bryant was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. Police did not say if anyone else was injured.

In the moments after the shooting, people living or visiting the street filmed as police roped off the area with yellow tape in front of the house where the shooting took place.

A neighbor’s video shows an officer performing CPR on the teenager while a man can be heard yelling, “You all just jumped out of the (expletive) car and shot her!”

Neighbors stood in open doorways filming and behind cars shaking their heads, eyewitness footage showed.

Woods said state law allows police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and investigators will determine whether this shooting was such an instance.

Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now reviewing the killing following a recent agreement with the city.

The shooting happened about 25 minutes before a judge read the verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd. It also took place less than 5 miles from where the funeral for Andre Hill, who was killed by another Columbus police officer in December, was held earlier this year. The officer in Hill’s case, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, is now facing trial for murder, with the next hearing scheduled for April 28.

Less than three weeks before Hill was killed, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus. The case remains under federal investigation.

Last week, Columbus police shot and killed a man who was in a hospital emergency room with a gun on him. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday that he watched the footage of Bryant’s killing and called it a “horrible tragedy.”

He added that while the public has the video evidence, “we need to let the investigation play out.”

The Republican governor also detailed upcoming legislation to boost police accountability in the state and overhaul policing. The effort was initially introduced in another form with Attorney General Yost in the days after Floyd’s killing last summer.

The new bill, to be introduced by GOP State Rep. Phil Plummer, of Dayton, would, among other things, establish an oversight board for law enforcement in the state. DeWine said the goal of the legislation is to increase transparency in the profession.