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Nominate your selections for Pope John's Mount Rushmore now

Know of an athlete that is among the elite in Pope John history? Send us your nominations now!

Our Mount Rushmore project is back again this summer and Pope John is taking a turn.

The premise is simple: If Pope John athletics had a Mount Rushmore, which four faces would adorn it?

To answer that question, we are putting together a list of Lion greats. Then we'll allow you, the fans, to vote on the four winners.

But we could also use your help. If you would like to nominate an athlete or coach – either past or present – for consideration, please comment below or send an email to In your comment, please detail the nominees qualifications – his or her sport, graduation year (or years spent coaching) and a short bio.

The final list of nominees will be posted on July 12 and voting will be open for one week. Be sure to make your voices heard!

Matt Stypulkoski may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @M_Stypulkoski. Like High School Sports on Facebook.

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 17:49:00 UTC

Where to see Fourth of July 2017 fireworks in N.J.: A statewide guide

Where is the best place to see fireworks the best Fourth of July fireworks displays in your town in New Jersey. Our complete listing includes all 21 counties

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:05:00 UTC

Ex-cop claims he got slapped upside the back of his head, made to clean toilets

The former officer also alleges he was put on 12-hour night shifts and made to clean bathrooms

NEWTON -- A trial over allegations a former Hamburg police officer was slapped across the back of the head by his sergeant, made to clean bathrooms and put on 12-hour night shifts for several months began on Monday, the New Jersey Herald reported.

Daniel Farruggio, of Sparta, reportedly filed the lawsuit in February 2014 under the state's Conscientious Employee Protection Act after resigning from the department about 10 months earlier.

Farruggio's lawsuit seeks compensatory, consequential and punitive damages, and a civil fine of up to $20,000 per violation under CEPA, the newspaper reported. 

According to the report, former Hamburg police Sgt. Christopher Nichols, now a Maywood patrol officer, testified on Tuesday he saw then-Sgt. David McNulty walk up behind Farruggio and smack him with an open hand on the back of his head.

Justin Zaremba may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find on Facebook.


Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:56:32 UTC

Frelinghuysen defends Senate health care bill in telephone 'town hall'

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, criticized for not holding meetings with his constituents in person, held his fifth telephone "town hall" on Tuesday

MORRISTOWN -- U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen's latest telephone 'town hall' stuck to familiar themes Tuesday as he again defended his vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The first caller, identified as Sherry from Morris Plains, asked Frelinghuysen why he voted for a bill that "you yourself said is not good" -- a reference to his prior statement that the legislation would be improved "significantly in the Senate."

"I think we're going to make progress. We want to see what the Senate comes up with," Frelinghuysen said.

Earlier, Frelinghuysen reiterated his view that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is failing.

"We made a commitment to health care reform," Frelinghuysen said.

"It obviously hasn't been easy. It certainly hasn't been a popular decision," Frelinghuysen said.

Caller, Christine from Stanhope, told Frelinghuysen she is a Democrat and has voted for him but is troubled by "your take on the whole health care thing."

Frelinghuysen said he remains optimistic about the Senate bill and its ability to help more people with limited resources.

"I am hopeful that the Senate package, if we ever see it, will do more to meet the needs of people on Medicaid," Frelinghuysen said.

Frelinghuysen was not asked about President Donald Trump's recent description of the House bill -- which narrowly passed in May with Frelinghuysen's support -- as "mean."

Nor was he asked about the estimate, from the Congressional Budget Office on Monday, that the Senate bill would result in an additional 22 million Americans losing their health coverage by 2026.

Fallout from that estimate prompted the Senate Republican leadership, on Tuesday, to delay any vote until after the July 4th holiday.

Most of the questions during the 61-minute session focused on topics unrelated to the current health care debate on Capitol Hill, ranging from improper use of handicapped parking spaces to a U.S. Labor Department rule affecting financial advisers.

The second to last of about 16 questions on Tuesday was from Steve in Wayne, who said he has "learned a lot" from Frelinghuysen's telephone town halls and asked for his thoughts on the partisan divide among Americans. 

Frelinghuysen, in response, said, "I think we are in a time of heightened anxiety."

He then referenced Trump's opponents, stating that they "want to reverse" the outcome of the election.

"They're unhappy about a lot of things the president has said, his choice of words. I believe in free speech, but really there's an absence of civil discourse," Frelinghuysen said.

He added that those on the "hard conservative right" were contributing to the division.

On one point, Frelinghuysen drew a clear distinction between himself and Trump.

"There is no doubt that Russia meddled in our election," he said.

The 12-term congressman has been criticized for not holding in-person town halls. This is the fifth session he's held with his constituents by telephone.

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:45:17 UTC

App developer to parents: Do you know how fast your children drive?

A Hoboken tech firm plans to market an app that tells parents whether they're speeding and if they're using the phone at the time

HOBOKEN -- A Hoboken tech company has a question for parents: Do you know where your children are driving, and how fast?

Sfara, a company founded in 2013 by a former Mercedes-Benz safety executive, is developing an app it plans to take to market by year's end that would tell parents remotely what speed their children are driving, whether they're over the speed limit, and whether they're using the phone while behind the while.

The app, which is also known as Sfara, is already used commercially by operators of taxi and trucking fleets to monitor the performance and miles per hour of their drivers, said Sascha Simon, the company's founder and chief technology officer.

Now, Simon is adapting the technology to help parents keep their kids safe. And that includes his own son and daughter, who will be old enough to drive in just a few years.

"I think I've done a good job of getting them on the right track," Simon said of his own children's future driving habits. "But I'm more concerned about when they drive with their friends."

"We've seen these accidents on a Friday night when an entire car of four or five kids gets trashed," he added.

The app is able to use the phone's global positioning system to gauge a car's velocity independent of the speedometer, then send the data to the phone of the parent minding the driver's behavior. The GPS technology and highway and street databases also mean the phone knows what road it's on and what the speed limit is.

In addition, Simon said, the app takes advantage of the phone's magnetic field and motion sensors to determine where inside a car the bearer of the phone is located, for instance in the driver's seat or in a front or rear passenger seat. And, of course, the phone knows whether and how it's being used at the time, for talking, texting or otherwise.

The phone will automatically notify its user if and when he or she is speeding, texting while driving, or otherwise misbehaving behind the wheel.

Simon founded the company in 2013, after leaving Mercedes-Benz, where he worked at the company's former North American headquarters in Montvale overseeing  built-in safety technology similar to the app he would later develop.

The German auto maker had wanted to send Simon back to Germany. But by then he was happily raising his family in Warwick, N.Y., just over the border from Sussex County. So, he decided to stay and help improve the safety of a much broader range of cars and drivers.

Simon said Hoboken offered the urban environment and proximity to New York that would attract Millennials to work at the new company, while still providing easy access to a variety of city, suburban and highway traffic conditions needed to test Sfara's products. The Mile-Square City is also a budding tech hub in its own right, exemplified by the Propelify tech festival held on the Hudson River waterfront for the past two years.

"So, Hoboken was perfect," he said, adding that the company now has 18 employees housed in offices near the Hoboken Terminal, with annual sales approaching $1 million.

Simon said parents should not worry that the app will be resented as a sign of mistrust by the young drivers it's supposed to be protecting -- and switched off. For one thing, he said, the app will provide what he would only describe as "an incentive," or phone-related reward, for teens who use it. And, he added, parents can tell children it isn't their driving they're worried about.

"'This is not about you,'" Simon said, assuming the role of concerned parent. "'This is for when you drive with friends and they do something stupid. You need to have a different friend with you that can tell you, this is how you're driving.'"

Steve Strunsky may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find on Facebook.

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:45:00 UTC