Here are the top New Jersey stories for Monday, April 22

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Arsonist Set Fire At NJ Church That Injured Firefighter, Cops Say

WEST DEPTFORD — A man has been charged with setting fire to a church in South Jersey early Saturday.

Brian Cannon, 44, is charged with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated assault for injuring a firefighter, the West Deptford police announced Saturday afternoon.

He is being held at Salem County Jail, according to records. One firefighter was hurt. CBS Philadelphia reported that he was taken to the hospital after falling through the floor. He was later released.


46 Dogs Rescued From Fire Near Fairfield, NJ "Luxury" K9 Resort

FAIRFIELD (Essex) — One police was hospitalized helping to rescue dozens of dogs from a fire near a pet boarding facility just off Route 46 in Essex County.

Fairfield police were called to the Pio Costa Industrial Complex along Bloomfield Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Officer Stacy Chiarolanza.The caller reported that heavy smoke was coming from one of the commercial buildings. When police officers arrived, they found a fire causing damage to the MR Convenience and Smoke Shop.

Dangerous smoke was spreading to the adjacent, connecting businesses including the K9 Resorts boarding facility that advertises itself as a "luxury pet hotel."Police officers from Fairfield, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, and Wayne worked quickly to rescue the dogs trapped inside the building.

One police officer suffered injury from smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital, Chiarolanza said.

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NJ Man Who Killed Father, Stashed Body At Home Heads To Prison

A 33-year-old Matawan man has been sentenced to 30 years in state prison for killing his father and then hiding the body in the home the men shared, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago announced on Friday.

Kenneth H. Knapp Jr. was sentenced on Thursday in Monmouth County Superior Court.

In January, he had pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree desecration of human remains.The body of 58-year-old Kenneth Knapp Sr. was discovered by police in May 2022, over a week after the man had been killed.

Police found his body inside a large plastic container, where it had first been wrapped and secured in a tarp.

Knapp Jr. was arrested more than three months later.

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Rutgers U.Grad Who Set Himself On Fire Outside Trump Trial Dies

A man who received his master's degree from Rutgers University has died after he shockingly set himself ablaze in public view outside a Manhattan courthouse.

Max Azzarello, 37, died at the hospital after dousing himself in an accelerant and lighting himself on fire, the New York City police said to the Associated Press.

The park is located outside the Manhattan courthouse where Donald Trump is on trial. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday after a full week of jury selection.

Officials said that Azzarello traveled from his home city of St. Augustine, Florida to New York City for the disturbing protest.


Bones At Wall, NJ Excavation Came From "Multiple Individuals"

WALL TOWNSHIP — The bones found during an excavation project for a new house in March likely belong to several individuals whose deaths were not suspicious, according to officials.

"A portion of skeletal remains" were found on Narrumson Road in Wall Township where a foundation was being dug on March 12, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago.

An anthropologist with the New Jersey State Police Forensic Anthropology Unit has concluded that the bones belonged to multiple individuals.The age of the bones has not yet been determined but it is "strongly believed" they are "of an advanced age," according to Santiago.

Given the names of the streets in the neighborhood like Minnehaha Trail, Lenape Trail and Algonkin Trail, neighbors told PIX 11 that the area may have included a burial ground.

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NJ’s dry towns: No stores to buy wine, beer or booze

Among NJ's hundreds of communities — more than two dozen remain "dry" as of 2023.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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