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  • Writer's pictureKaren Brittingham-Edmond

Echo New T.V. Saturday Evening Reports : Police Officer Exonerated; The Passing Of O.J. Simpson; Recent Car Accidents; N.A.A.C.P.; N.J. Homes Go from $347,000 to $600,000; And More

April 13, 2024

Laurence Harbor Shooting: Officer Exonerated by Grand Jury

Old Bridge Police Officer Christopher Hammel has been cleared of any criminal charges related to the shooting and killing of Luke Mendez, 26, last April in Laurence Harbor. After reviewing all the evidence, including witness interviews, photographs, video, and audio recordings, the grand jury determined that Officer Hammel's actions were lawful and justified. 

Mendez had charged down a staircase at the officer with a knife in his hand, and Hammel acted in self-defense by using lethal force. While the young man's father, Luke Mendez, 59, has expressed grief over the loss of his son, the grand jury's decision affirms that Officer Hammel acted appropriately under the circumstances.

Central Jersey Weather Report

Hey there! Are you ready for the weekend weather report? Here's a sneak peek: On Saturday, there's a slight chance of showers before 11 A.M., so you should carry an umbrella just in case. The temperature will be around 55 and pretty breezy, with up to 40 mph gusts. So, hold onto your hat! Saturday night will be mostly cloudy but gradually becoming clear. The temperature will be around 44, and the wind will be around 10 to 15 mph.

Now, let's move on to Sunday. There's a slight chance of showers after 2 P.M., but don't let that dampen your mood. The sun will be shining, and the temperature will be around 69. The wind will be around 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Sunday night will be mostly cloudy, and there's a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 P.M. You should hold onto your umbrella again, as showers can occur between 11 P.M. and 2 A.M. The temperature will be around 56, and the wind will be breezy.

So, there you have it! Stay prepared, and enjoy your weekend!

Born Under the Eclipse: Celebrating the Arrival of Solar Eclipse Babies in 2024

It was an exciting day for a couple in New Jersey as their baby girl, Evelyn Shoe, was born during the eclipse. She arrived a day early and weighed six pounds and nine ounces. As the moon started to block the sun, this beautiful bundle of joy entered the world.

Similarly, in Texas, a baby girl was born on the solar eclipse day and was given the perfect name, "Sol Celeste."

Baby pictures provided by Wix Media

Congratulations to all the parents who enjoyed welcoming their babies on April 8, 2024.

Fatal Three-Vehicle Crash in Cumberland County Results in One Death and Multiple Injuries

On Thursday, a tragic three-vehicle crash occurred in Cumberland County, resulting in the death of a woman and injuries to three others. Reported by Josh Bakan with the Middletown Patch on April 11, 2024, titled "Woman Killed, 3 Hurt In South Jersey Crash: Police." The incident was reported to the State Troopers at 4:23 P.M. and took place at the intersection of Route 49 and Route 675 in Fairfield Township. According to Sergeant Jeffrey Lebron of the State Police, Delia Lugo, a 69-year-old woman from Mullica Hill, who was a passenger in one of the vehicles, sustained fatal injuries.

As per the preliminary investigation, a Jeep Wrangler with three occupants, including Lugo, was traveling northbound on Route 675 and approaching the intersection of Route 49. At the same time, a Nissan Altima with one occupant was moving westbound on Route 49, and a Nissan Rogue with three people had stopped at the intersection while traveling southbound on Route 675.

Unfortunately, the Jeep failed to stop at the intersection and entered Route 49, colliding with the Altima and continuing to push through the intersection and hitting the Rogue, resulting in the tragic incident.

Fatal Car Crash Claims Lives Of Three Young Adults On Rt. 1 North in South Brunswick

April 12, 2024

A devastating car crash on Rt. 1 North in South Brunswick claimed the lives of three young adults on Friday, according to police. The accident occurred at the intersection of Rt. 1 and Ridge Road at 9:36 A.M. when a Sprinter van carrying the young adults crashed into a tractor-trailer and two other vehicles. The van and the tractor-trailer traveled an additional 100 yards north of the intersection before bursting into flames. South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the young adults and urged everyone to keep them in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the importance of safe driving practices, particularly for young adult drivers.

Orenthal James Simpson Sunrise: July 9, 1947. Sunset: April 10, 2024.

O.J. Simpson is a former American football player, father, broadcaster, and actor who was accused and acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1995. The trial, known as the "Trial of the Century," was one of American history's most publicized and controversial criminal trials. 

Despite being found not guilty in a criminal trial, Simpson was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial and ordered to pay millions in damages to the victims' families. The case remains a topic of debate and fascination to this day.

It's clear that various challenges and difficulties marked O.J. Simpson's childhood. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood and suffering from rickets that required him to wear leg braces must have been a challenging experience for him. Additionally, his parents' separation at such a young age meant that he and his siblings had to be raised by their mother alone. 

As a teenager, Simpson fell in with a street gang and found himself in trouble with the law. Understandably, his future wife, Marguerite, described him as "really an awful person then." However, it's heartening to know that Simpson had an encounter with baseball star Willie Mays, who encouraged him to turn his life around and avoid trouble. This conversation must have been a turning point for Simpson, and it's inspiring to see how he was able to reform himself and move towards a better path in life.

Photo Source: Hertz Rent A Car Advertisement 1976

While studying at the University of Southern California, O.J. started pursuing acting and landed an uncredited role on Dragnet, where he played a potential recruit to the Los Angeles Police Department (L.A.P.D) TV series. Before embarking on his football career, he entered the acting profession and even appeared in the debut episode of Medical Center while negotiating his contract with the Bills.

Goldberg, Haley (June 12, 2014). "The Hollywood career O.J. Simpson left behind". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.

Picture Source: UCLA Library Digital Collection. Photographer Rick Browne

O.J. Simpson's children, except for Aaren Simpson, a girl who passed away at the age of two, were present by his side when he passed away. Simpson's children are Sydney Brooke Simpson, Jason Simpson, Justin Ryan Simpson, and Arnelle Simpson. Sympathies and prays.

The N.A.A.C.P.'s Call for Stronger Gun Control Measures to Combat Violence and Racism

What is gun control legislation about?

Gun control legislation refers to laws and regulations that are put in place to regulate the manufacture, sale, possession, and use of firearms. These laws are intended to reduce gun-related violence and improve public safety by limiting access to firearms for individuals who may pose a risk to themselves or others. Gun control laws can vary widely from country to country. They may include measures such as background checks, waiting periods, restrictions on the types of firearms that can be owned, and requirements for gun owners to register their firearms with the government.

The N.A.A.C.P. has posted an article on their website titled "Addressing the Need for Gun Control," which references an article from The Guardian dated April 19, 2023. The article highlights the negative impact of "stand your ground" laws in the U.S. The study shows that these laws are linked to increased deaths and racist violence. It was found that "stand your ground" laws were responsible for an 8% to 11% increase in homicide rates, leading to roughly 700 additional deaths each year. Furthermore, research on "stand your ground" laws has revealed significant racial disparities.

Please support the N.A.A.C.P. in their efforts by becoming a member today. Just click the link for instructions.

The New Jersey Housing Market: A Look at the Recent Surge in Homeownership

A report written by Megan VerHelst of the Middletown Patch report titled "Home Prices Jumped 10 Percent This Year In These NJ Counties," on April 11, 2024, shared that new data has shown that in six counties of New Jersey, home prices have increased by about 10 percent compared to the previous year. The data from Zillow in February 2024 revealed that New Jersey's typical home value is $503,432, significantly higher than the nationwide value of $347,716. The counties with the highest increase in home prices were Camden and Mercer, followed by Sussex, Gloucester, Burlington, and Morris, with home values increasing over 11 percent in Camden and Mercer and by nearly 10 percent in the others. Hudson County saw the smallest increase at 4.2 percent. The report states that Cape May, Monmouth, Bergen, and Morris counties in New Jersey have the most expensive homes, with average home values of over $600,000 as of February 2024. The question arises: Who have been the recent buyers of these homes in the past three to five years? The relaunched Echo report will provide a comprehensive analysis.


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