Monday, February 26, 2024

New Jersey Prevails Over Pennsylvania in Battle of the Badges

N.J. State Police Aviation officers deliver the first pitch. Photo by Joe Phalon, 8/2023.

The New Jersey State Police defeated their cross-river rivals, the Pennsylvania State Police, 22-16 in an Aug. 3 charity softball game at Skylands Stadium in Augusta.

Pennsylvania had a commanding 14-8 leading heading into the fifth inning, but New Jersey came back with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth and seven more in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, the Keystone crew nibbled back with two runs, but it was not enough to overtake the Garden State’s Finest.

Despite this drive to left field, Pennsylvania fell to New Jersey 22-16. Photo by Joe Phalon, 8/2023.

All proceeds from the will go to 11-year-old Cash Klem and the families of Pennsylvania State Troopers Jacques F. Rougeau Jr. and Lt. James A. Wagner.

Klem, of Stillwater, New Jersey, suffers from cerebellar ataxia and is currently in need of a new semi-powered wheelchair.

Rougeau, 29, was shot and killed in the line of duty on June 17th of this year. Wagner was shot and critically injured on the same day as Rougeau but is currently in recovery and has been given a hero’s discharge.

The game featured a visit from the N.J. State Police Aviation Unit’s Agusta AW139 helicopter, with members of the unit rappelling down to centerfield to deliver the ball for the first pitch of the following baseball game between the Sussex County Miners and the New Jersey Jackals.

Kylie Wunder of Wantage gets a lift from Lt. William Donahue and his horse Trooper of the N.J.
State Police Mounted Unit. Photo by Joe Phalon, 8/2023

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.