Local Beat: Protesters plead ‘not guilty’ to charges of defiant trespassing at Rep. Leonard Lance’s office

February 23, 2018
February 23, 2018 Joe Amditis

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

PROTESTERS PLEAD ‘NOT GUILTY’ TO CHARGES OF DEFIANT TRESPASSING AT REP. LEONARD LANCE’S OFFICE
Six protestors who were arrested earlier this month at a demonstration in support of DREAMers at Rep. Leonard Lance’s office in Westfield have pleaded “not guilty” to charges of defiant trespassing. Fred Smith and Jackie Lieberman of TAPinto Westfield say the protesters were arrested after refusing to leave Lance’s office after it was closed.

SRHS STUDENTS HOLD WALKOUT TO HONOR PARKLAND VICTIMS
Hundreds of students from South Regional High School in Manahawkin gathered on campus on Wednesday for a 17-minute school walkout to honor the 17 people who were killed in the shooting in Parkland, Fla. Kimberly Bosco of Jersey Shore Online says two students, Laura Esposito and Kyra Zdep, organized the event, compiled information on each of the victims, made signs, and spread the word to other students – all in less than two days.

IS TAX REFORM AFFECTING HOME VALUES? LOCAL EXPERTS WEIGH IN
Alan Grossman and Danielle Santola of TAPinto Livingston published the first in a series of articles that will highlight local perspectives on the ways in which the recent federal tax reforms will affect Essex County residents. This week’s article focuses on real estate issues.

FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT: SHOUTS OF RACIAL SLURS BRING POLICE TO SPARTA THEATRE
Sparta police arrived at the New Vision Sparta Theatre Sunday night after receiving calls about a woman shouting racial slurs during a screening of Black Panther. Jennifer Dericks of TAPinto Sparta says former state Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs. Police arrived and asked the “extremely intoxicated 57-year-old woman and her boyfriend” to leave the theater. 

EAST BRUNSWICK RABBI CHARGED WITH ENGAGING IN PROSTITUTION WITH A CHILD
Rabbi Aryeh Goodman of the East Brunswick Chabad Learning Center was charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Maureen Berzok of TAPinto East Brunswick says Aryeh was one of 30 men who were charged with having sex with the teenager over the course of four weeks. 

INSIDE AN ACTIVE SHOOTER DRILL
Virginia Citrano of MyVeronaNJ was invited to attend an active shooter drill at a public high school in Livingston. Officers from the Verona Police Department and several other NJ departments also attended the drill, where some spent the entire day training and learning how to deal with an active shooter situation. 

CAMDEN COUNTY FILES RACKETEERING LAWSUIT AGAINST OPIOID MANUFACTURERS
Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen examines the recent lawsuit filed against Purdue Pharma, which makes the opioid OxyContin, as well as three Purdue executives. The suit alleges that “Purdue collectively, and the Sacklers individually drove the over-prescription of OxyContin for all manner of pain management, even knowing its highly addictive qualities. It further charges the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of the drugs as being complicit in the practice.”

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES THIS WEEK:

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Joe Amditis

Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. He can be reached via email at amditisj@montclair.edu and on Twitter at @jsamditis.

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