HAMILTON, N.J. — A video showing a man urinating on a park memorial marker that honours a 9-year-old boy who died of brain cancer has led to charges against him and another man who allegedly made the recording.
Hamilton police say a friend of Christian Clopp’s family saw the video posted on social media and notified them. The family said they didn’t know either man.
Police say Bryan Bellace, of Egg Harbor, urinated on the memorial while his friend, Daniel Flippen of Hammonton, created the video. Bellace is charged with lewdness and criminal mischief. Flippen was cited with having an open beer at the park.
A motive was unknown. It also wasn’t known Monday if either man has retained a lawyer.
Christian Clopp died in 2012.
Volunteers disinfected the memorial after learning what happened.
The Associated Press
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“Star-Crossed: A Novel” (Crown), by Minnie Darke
A journalist once considered adjusting her newspaper’s horoscope to help an astrology-devoted friend. She didn’t do it, but in her new novel, Minnie Darke imagines what happens when her lovesick protagonist acts on the same impulse she had. The result is an escapist delight.
“Star-Crossed” tells the story of Justine and Nick, astrology skeptic and believer, childhood friends who recently reunited. Justine is baffled by Nick’s faith in his horoscope: “I just think that if you want to play Romeo, you should play Romeo. You don’t have to twist the words of some stargazing nut to give yourself permission.” When she later gains access to the horoscopes at the newspaper where she works, Justine gets the idea to tinker with the Aquarius entries to nudge Nick into realizing his feelings for her. Needless to say, it doesn’t quite work out as she intends.
What follows is a “Love Actually”-esque menagerie of interconnected characters and subplots. The colorful figures include a jilted singer-songwriter; a divorced oncologist dating a male midwife; a widow with an extensive collection of commemorative Charles and Diana wedding china who is in a Skype relationship with someone on the other side of the world. It also includes a terrier/frequent animal shelter escapee whose inner thoughts readers are privy to, to this reader’s dismay. The way their tales all satisfyingly tie together in the end brings to mind the butterfly effect — the way small events can have significant consequences.
In all, “Star-Crossed” is a light, fun read, with a creative spin on a winning rom-com formula.
Rasha Madkour, The Associated Press
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