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New Jersey teacher in recording flap reinstated

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) - A lawyer says a New Jersey special-education teacher has been reinstated two years after she was placed on leave when a student made a secret recording of possible abuse in her classroom.

Lawyer Matthew Wieliczko says Kelly Altenburg is returning to the Cherry Hill school district next month.

Altenburg was placed on leave in April 2012 following the recording, which received national attention.

A man sent his 10-year-old son to school with an audio recorder that caught an adult calling the son "a bastard."

An aide resigned. Altenburg was placed on leave. School district officials in October 2012 cleared Altenburg of any harassment, intimidation or bullying.

But her lawyer says she faced tenure charges until earlier this year, when a judge found the recording was made unlawfully.


Man sentenced to 12 years in prison on drug charge

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A Texas man is headed to state prison in New Jersey after being sentenced on a drug charge.

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman says 35-year-old Andres Garcia of San Benito, Texas was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday. He will be ineligible for parole for four years.

Authorities say Garcia pleaded guilty in February to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Garcia was arrested after state troopers pulled over the tractor trailer he was driving in Greenwich Township. Authorities say they found more than 40 pounds of cocaine and 64 pounds of marijuana hidden in the ceiling and behind a wall in the truck.

Officials say the drugs were worth $800,000 on the street.


Newark's school enrollment draws criticism

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey's largest city is facing criticism for its school enrollment program.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Friday said that he is deeply concerned about the enrollment procedures that are part of the state-controlled school district's "One Newark" plan.

More than 600 parents turned out on Thursday to enroll their children for the upcoming school year, which begins in two weeks.

The district announced it would only be able to serve 350 and the others were told to return on Friday.

The district issued a statement saying it would increase the number of staff and work to correct Thursday's problems.

The "One Newark" program gives parents the chance to pick schools that they feel are better suited for their children.


Suspect arrested after hiding in drainage tunnel

(Information in the following story is from: The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, )

NEWTON, N.J. (AP) - Newton police have arrested a drug suspect after he hid in a drainage tunnel for two hours.

Police and the Sussex County Narcotics Task Force spotted 33-year-old Herbert Whitesell III, who had an outstanding warrant, outside a building on Thursday.

Lt. Robert Osborn tells The Star-Ledger of Newark that Whitesell fled, eventually entering a drainage tunnel that leads to Clinton Street. He surrendered two hours later.

Whitesell is charged with resisting arrest and distribution of heroin.


Port Authority graduates largest police class

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - The Port Authority Police Department has graduated its largest class in the department's 86-year history.

Two sons of officers killed in the line of duty during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were among the 249 cadets receiving their badges during a ceremony in Elizabeth Friday.

Officers Patrick Gorman, Liam Huczko and the others will bring the department to its highest staffing level with nearly 1,800 officers.

The agency says the 210 men and 39 women include 136 New Yorkers and 111 New Jerseyans. There is also a resident each from Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The new officers received extensive training in counter-terrorism, firefighting and first aid. Many will be assigned to the World Trade Center.


Brick Township officer charged with stalking ex

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey police officer has been indicted for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend online.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said Friday a grand jury has charged Justin Delaney with official misconduct and stalking.

The 33-year-old Brick resident is suspended without pay from the Brick Township police department.

The indictment alleges Delaney posted "humiliating and alarming" messages on social media about the woman. It also alleges Delaney improperly gained access to a database to determine the source of harassing phone calls and text messages to the woman, when in fact he allegedly had sent them from a prepaid cellphone.

Delaney's attorney says his client denies the charges and is prepared to go to trial.

Official misconduct carries a maximum 10-year prison term. The maximum sentence for stalking is 18 months.


Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza.

Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.

Karl Sison tells The Jersey Journal garbage haulers showed up on Thursday night and started to push the piano to their truck before people told them it was not junk.

The piano is now stored in a construction area next to a restaurant.


NJ retailer pays $1.56 million over NY taxes

NEW YORK (AP) - A New Jersey appliance chain has agreed to pay $1.56 million to settle allegations it failed to pay New York taxes over a 10-year period.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the settlement with Topline Appliance Center on Friday.

Schneiderman says Topline sold or delivered appliances to New Yorkers from its New Jersey stores without collecting any New York State and local sales taxes.

He says Topline also failed to pay proper New York corporate franchise taxes despite doing business in New York.

The action began when a whistleblower filed a complaint in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Schneiderman's investigation concluded that Topline and its principal owner evaded approximately $668,000 in taxes.

A Topline spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


Atlantic City casinos' operating profit up 35 pct

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Atlantic City's 11 casinos saw their gross operating profit increase by nearly 35 percent in the second quarter of this year.

Figures released Friday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show the casinos posted a gross operating profit of more than $83 million in April, May and June of this year.

That's an increase of 34.9 percent compared to the same period last year, when New Jersey had not yet legalized Internet gambling.

Gross operating profit reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and other charges, and is a widely accepted indicator of profitability in the casino industry.

The Borgata posted the largest operating profit at $43.2 million. Revel, which is closing over Labor Day weekend, had the biggest loss at $24.3 million.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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