New Jersey Archives:

OLD BRIDGE, NEW JERSEY (BNO NEWS) — A supermarket employee opened fire at his colleagues in New Jersey on early Friday morning, killing two people before turning the gun on himself, officials said. The motive was not immediately known but the gunman had previously hinted at wanting to kill people.

The attacker, identified as 23-year-old Terrence Tyler of Brooklyn, New York, opened fire at a Pathmark supermarket in Old Bridge, a township in Middlesex County, at around 4 a.m. local time on Friday. It happened as fifteen employees were stocking shelves before the store was due to open at 6 a.m.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said during a press conference that Tyler had left the supermarket at around 3:30 a.m. local time before returning in camouflage clothing and armed with an AK-47 and handgun about 30 minutes later. He fired at least 16 shots at his co-workers, killing two people before fatally shooting himself.

The victims, both graduates of Old Bridge High School, were identified as 18-year-old Cristina LoBrutto, who was working a friend’s shift, and 24-year-old Bryan Breen. They were both standing in an aisle when Tyler opened fire. The other employees in the building were able to escape safely.

The motive of the attack remained unclear on Saturday, but Kaplan said investigators do not believe LoBrutto and Breen were specifically targeted. Tyler had hinted at wanting to kill co-workers in messages about three years ago on the social networking website Twitter, according to reports.

“Is it normal to want to kill ALL of ur (your) coworkers? Maybe but I’m actually in a position where I can,” Tyler wrote in a tweet in June 2009. He was not referring to employees at the Pathmark supermarket in Old Bridge because Tyler was hired there only two weeks before Friday’s shooting.

About four months later, in October 2009, Tyler posted another series of tweets in which he again indicated he wanted to kill people. “I’m starting to see why pip (people) go on killin(g) sprees…. Because these mothafuckers are reeeeeeally pushin(g) my ‘kill everyone I see button,’” the tweet said, adding: “I no (know) murdering sum1 (someone) cuz (because) u hate them is wrong but being here makes me think about that…. really does.”

A message several days earlier asked whether he was crazy or everyone else is. “I’m parinoid (sic)… it’s good and bad cuz (because) nobody will eva (ever) catch me slipping but the constant state of alertness is drivin(g) me insane,” he said, adding a month later: “I c (see) y (why) [people] go on violent killin(g) sprees … I really do.”

A brief statement from The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which purchased Pathmark in 2007, said the company was “terribly saddened” by Friday’s shooting. “We express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and our appreciation to local law enforcement,” the statement said. “Our main concern is the safety of our associates and customers. We continue to work with local authorities during the investigation.”

Authorities said Tyler, who neighbors said was engaged, previously served in the military as a Marine but had not been deployed overseas.

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY (BNO NEWS) — Five people died in a raging house fire in South Plainfield, New Jersey, early on Thursday, authorities confirmed.

The fire broke out in a multistory former farmhouse where nine family members lived between 2:30 and 3 a.m. local time. At least four others were being treated for injuries, including an 8-year-old who was taken in critical condition to a nearby medical center, The Star-Ledger newspaper reported.

A family relative identified the woman killed as Ann Jefferson, who according to public records is 62. She also said that four of her sister-in-law’s children were also killed in the fire.

The prosecutor said investigators are working to confirm the identities of those who died and are awaiting reports by the county medical examiner’s office on the causes of death.

A next-door neighbor said the fire was raging by the time firefighters arrived. She said the home was a former farmhouse before the neighborhood began to be developed about 30 years ago. The home has been a two-family rental unit for at least the past 20 years

Two volunteer firefighters are also being treated for minor injuries they received in a two-vehicle crash while en route to the fire, which was reported at 3:09 a.m. local time.

The fire is under investigation by members of the prosecutor’s office and the South Plainfield Police Department.

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NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Jon Corzine has resigned as chief executive of global financial derivatives broker MF Global, the former governor of New Jersey confirmed on Friday morning, days after the company filed for bankruptcy.

In a statement, Corzine said he voluntarily offered his resignation to the board of directors because he believes it is best for the firm and its stakeholders. MF Global said Corzine will not seek severance payments in connection with his resignation.

“This was a difficult decision,” Corzine said. MF Global, which is being investigated by regulators and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) because hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money went missing, filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

“I feel great sadness for what has transpired at MF Global and the impact it has had on the firm’s clients, employees and many others,” Corzine said in his resignation statement on Friday. “I intend to continue to assist the Company and its Board in their efforts to respond to regulatory inquiries and issues related to the disposition of the firm’s assets.”

MF Global said Edward Goldberg, the lead director of the Board of Directors, and Bradley Abelow, the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will continue in their current positions.

Before taking over MF Global, Corzine served as CEO of investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs. He is also known as the former U.S. Senator from New Jersey and the 54th Governor of New Jersey.

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WARSAW, POLAND (BNO NEWS) — An LOT Polish Airlines passenger plane carrying more than 200 people made an emergency landing in Warsaw on early Tuesday afternoon, officials said. There were no injuries.

The pilot of LOT flight 016, a Boeing 767 flying from Newark in the United States to Warsaw, reported an emergency at around 1.40 p.m. local time when it was discovered the plane’s landing gear was malfunctioning.

The pilot and co-pilot circled Warsaw Chopin Airport as they attempted to lower the landing gear. An hour later, after their efforts proved unsuccessful, the pilots carried out an emergency landing after a special fire-proof foam was placed on the runway.

With no wheels, the pilots were able to land the aircraft, sliding on the runway on the plane’s ‘belly’. Thick smoke and sparks could be seen flying from the aircraft, but no fire broke out.

None of the 220 passengers and 11 crew members were reported injured, although they were taken to medical facilities at the airport where a support team and psychologists took care of them.

“Passengers of flight LO 016 are currently being released after medical examination and a brief police interview,” the airline said in a brief statement. “If required, they will be offered meals and accommodation. LOT’s dedicated Support Team is on site and available to offer psychological help and any other support.”

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski expressed gratitude toward the pilots and crew members of the flight after the emergency landing. He said he had personally spoken with the pilot, thanking him and the crew, while describing the passengers as ‘very brave.’

Officials said Warsaw Chopin Airport will remain closed until at least 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday as the incident is being investigated.

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NEW YORK (BNO News) — At least three people were killed when a rare October snowstorm slammed the U.S. northeast on Saturday, leaving some 2.5 million people without power, officials said.

The most severe snowfall was reported in Massachusetts where the National Weather Service (NWS) recorded as much as 23.0 inches (58.4 centimeters) of snow since early Friday morning. Heavy snowfall was also seen in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and several other states.

As of early Sunday morning, utilities across Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia reported about 2.5 million customers being without power. Officials warned the number could rise as the weather is expected to continue into Sunday.

At least three people were believed to have been killed as a result of the severe weather. In southeastern Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old Springfield man was killed when he got out of his car and touched a wooden guard rail which was electrified by downed power lines, WWLP-TV reported.

In Massachusetts, a 20-year-old man was killed in Springfield when he was electrocuted by a downed power line. And in Colchester, Connecticut, one person was killed in a traffic accident blamed on a slippery road.

The extreme early season winter storm prompted the governors of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut to declare a state of emergency in the hardest hit counties.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in thirteen counties. “With serious snowfall and wind sweeping through parts of New York, the state of emergency declaration will help deploy state resources to communities that have been hit the hardest by this storm,” he said. “We are communicating with local governments to coordinate our response efforts and we will mobilize resources as needed to areas experiencing the most severe conditions. I urge New Yorkers to have safety as their top priority and avoid driving on icy roads or during heavy snowfall.”

In New Jersey, where the storm has been blamed for more than 60 accidents, Governor Chris Christie declared a statewide state of emergency and urged New Jerseyans to stay off of the roadways until conditions improve.

“As we move through the worst part of this storm, I am urging all New Jerseyans to avoid unnecessary risks in severe weather like this and stay off the roadways tonight, while also issuing a state of emergency to marshal all resources of government to effectively respond,” Christie said. “With this declaration, we are taking immediate steps to ensure that state, local and county governments have every tool at their disposal to manage and respond to conditions on the ground, emergency operations plans are activated, and that every part of government is positioned to assist and protect the public through this storm.”

In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy also declared a state of emergency and called on people to stay inside. He also signed an order banning non-emergency vehicles on the Wilbur Cross and Merritt Parkways due to dangerous driving conditions.

“The storm is causing treacherous driving conditions down along the Merritt Parkway particularly, as well as on roadways across the state,” Malloy said. “I am urging residents to stay off the roads and let [Department of Transportation (DOT)] crews get out there and get the streets clear. On the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways no one should be on the roads except emergency crews. People should stay inside at this point, we are seeing heavy snow start to impact power as well as driving.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared a major disaster exists in a number of states which have been affected by Hurricane Irene last week, the White House said.

Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina on Saturday morning before moving north, leaving a trial of destruction along the U.S. East Coast. More than 40 people have been killed in the United States while damage has been estimated to be in the billions.

On Wednesday, Obama signed disaster declarations for the U.S. states of Iowa, North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey. All were seriously affected by the hurricane, and disaster declarations for other states are expected later this week.

As a result of the disaster declarations, federal funding will be available to individuals in the counties included in the declarations. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue welcomed the disaster declaration for seven of the state’s counties. “I urged our federal partners to move quickly on this request for assistance, and they did,” she said. “We’re grateful for that rapid response. Our fellow North Carolinians who suffered losses during this storm need to start rebuilding their lives now – not tomorrow.”

Other states also welcomed the declarations, but Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz criticized Obama and FEMA for excluding Brooklyn from New York’s declaration. “This weekend all New Yorkers came together, prepared for, and fought through a tough storm. Our ‘Brooklyn Attitude’ allowed us to bounce back quickly and our city was open for business Monday morning,” he said.

Markowitz explained Brooklyn suffered significant damage, including flooding. “Given these facts, I am absolutely dumbfounded that federal officials have excluded Kings County from a disaster declaration for public assistance. I applaud Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg for requesting this help, and hope that FEMA immediately reverses this dreadful decision and includes Brooklyn,” he said.

FEMA said damage surveys are continuing in counties which were not included in the initial declarations, and said additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.

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NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — The three major airports serving New York City are set to reopen on Monday after Hurricane Irene made its way along the U.S. East Coast, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) confirmed on late Sunday.

John F. Kennedy (JFK) International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports were closed on Saturday afternoon in preparation for Hurricane Irene, which moved into Canada on late Sunday after it weakened to a post-tropical storm.

PANYNJ said both JFK and Newark are scheduled to open to arriving flights at 6 a.m. local time on Monday, with departures set to resume at noon. LaGuardia Airport will reopen to both arrivals and departures at 7 a.m. Monday.

“Given the complexities of resuming flights, travelers are urged to contact their airlines before coming to the airport to learn about potential delays and cancellations,” a PANYNJ spokesperson said. “Additionally, due to limited mass-transit options tomorrow, arriving and departing passengers should make sure they will be able to get to and from the airports via alternative means if necessary.”

AirTrain JFK is expected to be back in service at 4 a.m. Monday with AirTrain Newark scheduled to resume operations about two hours later, at 6 a.m. PANYNJ said it is coordinating the reopenings with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other agencies.

Stewart International Airport, which is located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Midtown Manhattan, is also scheduled to resume operations on Monday, but no time was immediately given. “Travelers should check status with individual carriers,” PANYNJ said.

Teterboro Airport, which is about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Midtown Manhattan, will remain closed until further notice after it experienced flooding during the storm. “The Port Authority will announce re-opening plans at this airport when they are finalized,” the agency said.

Bus, subway, and regional rail service in New York City are also expected to partly resume operations on Monday, but widespread cancellations and delays are expected. Irene killed at least 21 people across eight states, including two in New York.

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NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Bus, subway, and regional rail service in New York City as well as area airports will be shut down on Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Irene moves along the U.S. East Coast, officials said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it has decided to close its five airports – John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, Stewart International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports – to all arriving passenger flights beginning at noon local time on Saturday.

“The Port Authority is taking this measure to avoid stranding passengers at its airports when the region’s mass transit systems suspend service tomorrow due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene,” a Port Authority spokesperson said. “Many weekend departures already have been cancelled at all of the airports, so travelers are urged to contact their carriers prior to leaving for the airport.”

The Port Authority said the five airports will remain open for departing flights ‘until further notice’, but gave no indication whether or not it would completely shut down when the storm reaches New York City.

The decision to shut down the region’s airports was made after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) decided to begin an orderly shutdown at around noon on Saturday. MTA provides local and express bus, subway, and regional rail service in Greater New York.

“These actions are consistent with the MTA’s Hurricane Plan, designed to protect the safety of customers, employees and equipment, and ensure the fastest and safest possible restoration of service after the storm,” MTA said in a statement. It also added that certain fares and tolls have been suspended to facilitate evacuations.

As of 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT) on Saturday morning, the center of Irene was located about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Cape Lookout in North Carolina. The storm has maximum sustained winds near 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour, with higher gusts, making it a category one hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.

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MIAMI (BNO NEWS) — The governors of the U.S. states of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey on Thursday declared a state of emergency ahead of major category three hurricane Irene.

As of 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), hurricane specialists at the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the center of Irene was located about 610 miles (980 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. Irene is moving toward the north-northwest, but forecasters expect the hurricane will turn toward the north-northeast on early Friday morning.

If Irene continues as forecast, the center of the intense hurricane will make landfall on the eastern coast of North Carolina on Saturday. It will then proceed into parts of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware before continuing into New Jersey and likely New York.

As of early Thursday afternoon, as it moved through the Bahamas, Irene had maximum sustained winds near 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour, making it a category three hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.

North Carolina is forecast to be the worst hit area, with maximum sustained winds around 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour when Irene makes landfall on Saturday. Gusts are forecast to exceed 138 miles (222 kilometers) per hour.

As a result, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue declared a state of emergency for counties east of Interstate 95. He also requested President Barack Obama to declare a pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal assistance for response efforts.

“Hurricane Irene poses a significant threat to our state, and we need to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors, along with property and infrastructure along our coast,” Perdue said.

Perdue’s proclamation authorizes officials to respond more effectively to the emergency by authorizing additional state government resources to assist county and municipal governments. Under the proclamation, the governor has expanded powers to address all aspects of the emergency, including the authority to use state resources needed to respond to the situation.

Evacuations already began on Wednesday with the evacuation of tourists from Ocracoke Island. On Thursday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for everyone in Dare County, Ocracoke and Hyde County. Currituck County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for all visitors.

In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell also declared a state of emergency. “At this time, I encourage all Virginians to gather items they may need this weekend in case of power outages and disruptions in public services and to make sure their family members and friends are also prepared for this storm,” the governor said.

In addition, the state has also activated the Virginia Evacuation Coordination Team for Operational Response while other state agencies are on alert. The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring personnel on state active duty and begin propositioning resources.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie both also declared state of emergencies ahead of Irene.

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WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY (BNO NEWS) — A young girl fell to her death from a Ferris Wheel at Morey’s Mariner’s Landing Pier in New Jersey on Friday afternoon, officials said.

The accident happened at around 12.30 p.m. local time when 11-year-old Abiah Jones fell from one of the gondolas of the Ferris Wheel at Morey’s Mariner’s Landing Pier, which is located on the Boardwalk in Wilwood, New Jersey. Police said she was alone inside the gondola.

Jones, who was on a class trip during the piers’ annual Education Extravaganza, was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Hundreds of students were at the amusement park when it happened.

“On behalf of the Morey Family and staff, I offer our sincerest thoughts and prayers to the family,” said Will Morey, president of Morey’s Piers. The amusement park was closed after the accident, but reopened on Saturday although the Ferris Wheel remains closed while an investigation continues.

It remains unclear how Jones fell from the gondola, but authorities said it appears to be a tragic accident and not the result of a mechanical or operational failure. Police said Jones fell from the 156-foot (47-meters) Giant Wheel when the gondola was at its highest point.

The Giant Wheel opened in 1985 and was last inspected in March.

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