Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Friday, April 19, 2024.

Bomb Threats in Marlboro and Trenton Connected, Police Say

attachment-bomb threats

Bomb threats made against the Marlboro and Trenton school districts Thursday morning were made in one email, according to officials.

An email received by a Marlboro Memorial Middle School staff member stated bombs had been placed at four locations, according to Marlboro Police Capt. Stephen Levy. Two of those locations were in Marlboro, the Memorial Middle School and the Board of Education office.

Trenton Police Lt. Lisette Rios said two bomb threats were also received by State Police about two locations in the Capital City around 7 a.m. Thursday morning. One was received for Riverview Plaza on Route 29 near the Trenton Thunder Ballpark, which was handled by State Police.


NJ Ex-Teacher Gets Prison for Soliciting Nudes from 79 Young Victims

A 37-year-old Morris County man who was an elementary school teacher and helped run a youth soccer club has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for producing and possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.

Steven Brooks, of Morristown, entered his guilty plea one year ago and was sentenced Thursday in Newark federal court.

Brooks had been a fifth grade teacher in Summit and a director of travel for a Livingston Soccer Club when he sent an external computer hard drive out for repair.

In January 2021, law enforcement officers were notified about possible child pornography on the device. Police then searched Brooks’ hard drive, electronic devices and social media accounts. They found Brooks had created fake profiles as a female on social media platforms to solicit sexual photos and videos from at least 79 minor victims.


Widespread Recall for Trader Joe's Basil: Salmonella Outbreak Impacts NJ Stores

At least one person in New Jersey has fallen ill with salmonella poisoning amid a basil recall impacting Trader Joe's stores in 29 states and Washington D.C.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert Wednesday that warned against eating a brand of organic basil sold at Trader Joe's.

Anyone who brought Infinite Herbs-brand organic basil from a Trader Joe's in New Jersey should throw it away immediately.


Robbinsville Daycare Worker Arrested for Hurting 3 Kids, Police Say

ROBBINSVILLE — A teacher at a preschool and daycare facility has been arrested and charged after physically harming three toddlers, according to police.

Ekta Dwarkesh, 45, was arrested on Monday, but she was kicked off the job on the day the incidents allegedly occurred a few weeks ago.

According to Robbinsville police, the Princeton woman struck two children on March 20 while working at The Malvern School. One child was hit with an open hand that caused a nosebleed, police said. On the same day, Dwarkesh allegedly grabbed a child by the arm so aggressively that it left a visible sign of injury, police said.

According to police, Dwarkesh turned herself in to police on Monday with her attorney. She has been charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.


Driver Called a True Hero for Quickly Evacuating NJ Bus on Fire

OCEAN CITY — A bus driver is being called a "true hero" for her quick actions that got 10 students off a bus before it became engulfed in flames on the Garden State Parkway Wednesday.

Seaville Fire Rescue said the bus caught fire on the southbound side near Exit 20 (Route 50) in Upper Township. The students and driver were already evacuated when firefighters arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Cape May County Fire Marshal and New Jersey State Police.

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A sad, desolate look at NJ's Old Monmouth Mall

It was the last Christmas Eve for New Jersey's Monmouth Mall in Eatontown before major redevelopment in 2024. Here's what it looked like on that day.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

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