Charlie Kratovil

Charlie is a community organizer in New Brunswick, and a Rutgers journalism graduate. He can be reached at (732) 993-9697 or editor@NewBrunswickToday.com.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—Joseph Cryan, a longtime politician from Union County, is now earning $190,000 per year as the new Executive Director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA).

    Cryan now splits his time between the elected position and the one running the county agency that operates the Middlesex County landfill in East Brunswick and a massive wastewater treatment plant.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    For nearly seven years now, I have had the honor and pleasure of serving as the first and only editor of this publication and I intend to continue building this news organization in New Brunswick for as long as possible.

    On June 5, I filed a petition to run for Mayor of New Brunswick and I have since promised the people of this city that I will serve full-time in that position should I be victorious in the election.

    This would, of course, require me to leave this wonderful organization behind and completely end my involvement here.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A disturbing video never before seen by the public shows several former Rutgers University football players instigating a violent streetfight back in April 2015.

    More than three years later, only one of the six athletes identified in the video has spent significant time behind bars, and that's only because he faced an expensive bail on unrelated charges he robbed drug dealers in a string of armed home invasions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SOUTH AMBOY, NJ—A cop who put dozens of people behind bars on drug charges is now trying hard to avoid a prison sentence of his own after getting caught stealing heroin from evidence.

    The suspended South Amboy detective, 40-year-old Matthew Barcheski, may well succeed in avoiding prison despite pleading guilty to four different criminal charges before Superior Court Judge Michael Toto.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's dysfunctional Housing Authority Board of Commissioners was forced to cancel yet another public meeting on April 25 as its membership dwindles.

    The cancellation comes after yet another board member resigned his office, while another faces an uncertain future as he battles a criminal charge brought against him by this reporter.

  • Photo Credit: GoFundMe.com

    ELIZABETH, NJ—A grand jury in Union County has indicted four men from Middlesex County in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred on January 14.

    At approximately 4 am on that Sunday morning, local police found 30-year-old Tyrone Osorio outside an Elizabeth Avenue restaurant suffering from gunshot wounds.

    Osorio, the father of a young daughter, was transported to University Hospital in Newark where he died the following day.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: New Beginnings for New Brunswick Schools

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The makeup of the city's nine-member school board will remain unchanged after three incumbents bested four challengers in a historic election that saw 807 voters cast ballots.

    It marked the first time Board of Education ballots included so many names, with four different challengers running against the establishment.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Voters will be able to cast votes for up to three candidates in the April 17 school board election, as well as decide whether or not to approve the school district's proposed budget.

    In a seven-way race for three open seats, incumbents Edward Spencer, Diana Solis, and Ronald Hush have been conspicuously quiet throughout the campaign.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—An off-duty borough police officer has been suspended from duty after being charged with assault by auto and driving while intoxicated.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), Officer Norman E. Brown was driving drunk in Woodbridge in the early morning hours of December 31 when he ran a stop sign and crashed into another vehicle, seriously injuring two occupants.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman is now serving in Mayor James Cahill's cabinet for the first time in seven years, after Melanie Ford was promoted to Director of Social Services on February 21.

    Ford told New Brunswick Today she was "humbled and honored" to receive the appointment and that her first steps will be to "listen and learn" in the new job.

  • Photo Credit: Shore Point Funeral Home

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old man from Old Bridge who admitted to strangling his mother to death in November 2016 will spend at least the next 21 years behind bars.

    On March 27, Frank Polera was sentenced on a charge of aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 61-year-old mother Patricia Polera.

    When she died, the victim was employed a customer service supervisor for United Airlines and had three sons, according to an obituary.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police won't say if they've recovered two vehicles that they allege were stolen by a homeless man during burglaries in late January and early February.

    Kenneth McNeil, age 49, was arrested on the morning of February 4, two days after police sought the public's help finding their suspect in the cases.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: LinkedIn

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 33-year-old woman from Bayonne was sentenced to serve 15 years in a state prison after admitting to fatally stabbing a 34-year-old man inside a vehicle near the New Jersey Turnpike.

    Amarlis Calderon apparently stabbed a man she knew, fellow Bayonne resident Pablo Caamano, after he stopped to pick her up on Randolph Road in Woodbridge during the early morning hours of July 18, 2016.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Eleven weeks after being appointed to serve on the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners, Ramon Alayon still has not been sworn into office.

    Meanwhile, the sole tenant representative on the dysfunctional board missed her fifth consecutive board meeting on March 28.

    As a result, the NBHA was barely able to hold their public meeting that night, with only four of its seven members present.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    CARTERET, NJ—The county prosecutor's office revealed that it has discovered "numerous" firearms permits approved by the embattled Carteret Police Department (CPD) were issued to residents who were not properly investigated.

    According to a March 19 statement, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said an investigation is underway into the CPD's issuance of "approximately 38 possible permits to purchase firearms which have been issued without proper investigation."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An elementary school principal has been suspended for over a month, but officials with the district have declined to say why.

    Jose Negron has served as principal of the Livingston Elementary School since October 12, 2011, according to public records, but he is no longer serving in the position since his recent suspension.

    Negron continues to collect an annual salary of $140,068, even while he is not serving as principal.  It's unclear who has replaced him as the school's leader during the suspension.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On February 28, the city's embattled Housing Authority Board voted unanimously to approve an additional $60,000 for the same law firm that has billed them more than $201,844 since 2015.

    The vote came six days after this newspaper reported that Manfredi & Pellechio charged the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) more than five times their legal budget last year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County government closed down a cafeteria that was open to the public as part of a reconfiguration to accomodate $638,241 in "security upgrades."

    The front desk where visitors sign in has also been relocated as part of the changes, and now there only one single chair available for public use in the area.

    A new entrance to the "Freeholder meeting room," where many public meetings are held, also will be constructed to accommodate the security system, according to county officials.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A record-high seven candidates have filed to run for seats on the New Brunswick Board of Education (BOE) in the upcoming April 17 election.

    Business Administrator Richard Jannarone confirmed on March 5 that all seven are qualified to run, and will therefore appear on the ballot.

    The top three finishers in the seven-way race will win three-year terms on the nine-member board.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—University police officers restricted some people from attending the February 7 meeting of one of the governing boards that oversees Rutgers University.

    The Board of Governors' (BOG) public meeting, just one of six regular meetings scheduled this year, was held on the school's Newark campus at the Paul Robeson Campus Center.

    But the way the room was configured, it could not hold all of those who wanted to attend and police kept a tight limit on the number of audience members.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Nearly a year after he was first suspended from duty and arrested, a New Jersey State Trooper was sentenced to three years probation for invading the privacy of women he pulled over and covering up his actions by falsifying and tampering with public records.

    Marquice Prather, a Linden resident, admitted to tampering with evidence and falsifying records as part of a plea deal with prosecutors that will keep him out of prison if he can complete probation.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After botching a required public notice, the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) has extended the deadline to apply for two-bedroom apartments in the Schwartz Homes and Robeson Village neighborhoods.

    The extension came after a New Brunswick Today article revealed that the original notices, which serve as the preliminary application form, did not include an income limit for four-person households.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick man convicted of stalking and killing his former girlfriend could spend the rest of his life behind bars after being sentenced by Judge Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr.

    As we reported, 28-year-old Giver Quiroz-Vasquez was found guilty by a jury in the June 24, 2015 murder of 24-year-old Alicia Martinez-Izaguirr, who was also a city resident.

    Under Jimenez's sentence, he will be locked up until at least his 43rd birthday.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A longtime member of the Board of Education gave a misleading report on the school district's drinking water testing at a February 20 public meeting.

    Edward Spencer grossly overstated the New Brunswick school district's track record of testing for contamination in its water system.

    "For the City of New Brunswick Board of Education, we're going to be [testing the drinking water] annually like we have been doing for the past ten years," said Spencer.

  • Photo Credit: MySpace

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer and former Milltown Council President was tried on criminal charges in the same court where he has worked since 2002.

    The decision to keep the cases against Officer Neil Raciti in Middlesex County Superior Court has raised questions about conflicts of interest and political favoritism.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two city government boards have retained new lawyers to represent them in 2018, after their attorneys faced ethics complaints filed by this reporter in 2017.

    The New Brunswick Ethics Board itself faced a crisis when they had to sideline their own attorney, Anthony Vignuolo, for several months in the wake of a complaint alleging that he had failed to file required financial disclosure paperwork.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On January 2, a former Fire Commissioner was found guilty of sex crimes in four different towns, including several against children, following a five-week trial in Superior Court.

    Thomas Canales, a 39-year-old Franklin Township resident, was found guilty of seven criminal counts, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On February 2, Lazos America Unida officially opened its new community center at 57 Livingston Avenue, beneath the New Millenium Bank in downtown New Brunswick.

    Spearheaded by community leader Teresa Vivar, the organization has been around for over a decade but has not maintained a steady headquarters until now.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A law firm that has made representing public housing authorities into a cottage industry charged the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) over $98,000 during the last fiscal year, vastly exceeding the amount budgeted by the agency.

    Yet, for a second straight year, the NBHA's Board of Commissioners approved a budget on November 15 that included just $18,000 for legal expenses, costs that will also include bills from at least one other law firm.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    METUCHEN, NJ—The owners of a bail bond company found themselves on the wrong side of the law on December 12 when they were arrested on charges of money laundering and insurance fraud.

    The married couple behind Road Runner Bail Bonds, Larry and Kelley Embry, were arrested on December 12 and "charged with various counts in an attempt to cover up the use of illegitimate monies as a bail source for a defendant," according to authorities.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As part of an effort to come to terms with its own history of slavery and discrimination, Rutgers University changed the names of two buildings to honor African Americans with ties to the school community.

    The changes, which also included naming a walkway after a slave who helped build the university's administration building, were announced as part of the school's 2017 celebration of Black History Month.

  • Photo Credit: Franklin Township

    FRANKLIN, NJ—New Brunswick's neighbor saw one of its key municipal officials charged with theft and insurance fraud and quietly suspended from duty in December.

    According to the story broken by TapInto Franklin's Malik Lyons, Franklin Township Clerk Ann Marie McCarthy faces criminal charges that she deceived her health insurance company, Horizon Blue Cross.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In an astonishing and brazen crime spree that caught the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) off guard, a local teenager used a stolen police vehicle to make his own traffic stops on December 17.

    The agency did not know that one of their vehicles had been stolen until hours after it had been used in several crimes on a Sunday morning shortly before Christmas.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—Valentine's Day marked the third anniversary of a fatal shooting that claimed the life of a 31-year-old man who worked as a youth counselor.

    Three years after the killing of Richard Pryce, his killer spent another Valentine's Day behind bars, his first since receiving a 60-year prison sentence in December.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city police officer is suspended without pay after being charged with aggravated assault and riot for his involvement in a fight on Easton Avenue.

    Anthony Jones, Jr., who joined the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) in 2016, was allegedly off-duty on when the violent incident occurred on January 21.

    It took eighteen days for the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) to file and announce the charges in a statement that was issued to some media outlets, but not New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the first time in years, the city's Housing Authority has opened up one of its waiting lists and quietly begun taking preliminary applications for two-bedroom apartments.

    The New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) website does not reflect this, however, stating that "Waiting lists for Section 8 and Public Housing are currently closed."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It was hard to keep track of all the shootings that occurred on Throop Avenue in 2017.

    The sheer volume of violence, which claimed at least one man's life, led the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) to coordinate with federal, state, and county law enforcement to track down the alleged perpetrators.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—An official with the Perth Amboy Fire Department (PAFD) who also served as the treasurer for Mayor Wilda Diaz's 2008 campaign has been charged with crimes.

    Sammy Arroyo, a 42-year-old resident of the city, was charged with third-degree theft by unlawful taking and second-degree computer theft, apparently because a computer was used in the alleged scheme.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), Arroyo used a city computer to "acquire compensatory time that was unearned."

  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A man who admitted to aggravated assault on a city police officer did not show up for his sentencing on September 29, sparking a manhunt that eventually led to his arrest more than 800 miles away.

    Donnell Cook, a 27-year-old man from Newark, was captured by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a residence in Lithonia, Georgia two months later, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    SOMERSET, NJ—A Franklin Township man who worked for the controversial US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is now behind bars in a Michigan federal prison.

    Arnaldo Echevarria, age 40, served as a "deportation officer" with ICE prior to being convicted of corruptly demanding bribes and sex from undocumented immigrants, harboring another immigrant who he was dating, and lying to federal authorities about his side business.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Assembly Democrats

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—Craig Coughlin, an attorney who represents many local governments in the area, is now the leader of the state's 80-member General Assembly.

    In what marks a major power shift in state government, Coughlin arguably became the first person from Central Jersey to serve as Assembly Speaker since the early 80's.

    The change in leadership officially took place on January 9, as Hudson County legislator Vincent Prieto yielded the powerful position after losing a months-long campaign to Coughlin.  Both men are Democrats.

  • Photo Credit: Wakefield Beasley & Associates

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—Along the Raritan River waterfront sits 418 acres of land that a national developer plans to transform into “Riverton,” a $2.5 billion mixed-use development.

    The land, near one of the busiest sections of the Garden State Parkway, was once home to a paint factory owned by NL Industries.

    Previously known as National Lead, the company was responsible for manufacturing lead-based paints until such products were banned by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  • Photo Credit: NJ Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Piscataway resident admitted to leading an automobile theft network, as well as a conspiracy to commit theft by deception on October 23.

    Luther Lewis, a 39-year-old man who previously admitted guilt in a scheme to "roll back" the odometers on vehicles before selling them, pleaded guilty to the charges before Judge Benjamin Bucca in Middlesex County Superior Court.

    Prosecutors with the New Jersey Attorney General's Office will recommend a ten-year prison sentence, according to a press release.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    TRENTON, NJ—Two people involved in a Linden-based lumber company are now behind bars after admitted to defrauding and overcharging customers, including public entities, after showering some of those same customers with gifts.

    Victims of the scheme include Amtrak, the Plainfield Board of Education, and several other government entities including RutgersUniversity.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Yirgu Wolde, a longtime member of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners, has been charged with criminal harassment for aggressive behavior and threatening this reporter with physical violence.

    The embattled public board reached a new low on November 15, as they faced an angry crowd at their first public meeting in seven weeks, before Wolde issued the verbal threat on his way out of the meeting.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's historic State Theatre is without a leader, after new CEO & President Anna Marie Gewirtz quietly left the non-profit's top job in December.

    "Anna Marie Gewirtz is no longer with the State Theatre," confirmed Director of Communications Kelly Blithe.

    No reason was given for the change in leadership.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—In a surprising move, lame-duck Republican Governor Chris Christie appointed the Chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization (MCDO) to one of the most powerful boards in the region.

    Kevin McCabe will join the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners for the first time at their next public on February 15.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    CARTERET, NJ—A local police officer, one who happens to the Mayor's brother, continues to be paid a $49,266 salary despite being suspended while he is under indictment for criminal charges related to his public job.

    Officer Joseph Reiman, the 31-year-old brother of Mayor Daniel J. Reiman, was indicted September 28 on charges of aggravated assault and official misconduct.  He was later indicted again on a charge of tampering with public records.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Despite being applauded by pro-immigrant advocates for their new policy on federal immigration detainer requests, the elected officials of Middlesex County insist it should not be considered a policy of "sanctuary."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—Two politically-connected law firms raked in a grand total of $7,616,130 to represent the county's utilities authority in a civil fraud case that was quietly settled for an additional $5 million last summer.

    Making matters worse, the agency's insurance carrier refused to pay the bills, meaning that the multi-million dollar expense may be passed on to county residents in the form of higher sewer bills.

  • Photo Credit: Canadian Border Services Agency

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A man attempting to cross the US-Canada border with a handgun was taken into custody by the Canadian authorities and held under suspicion that he fatally shot his sister in Perth Amboy.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), police were asked by a "family friend" to check on the well-being of 32-year-old Perth Amboy resident Urooj Aftab shortly after midnight on October 30.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 16-year-old child was allegedly taken advantage of by a case worker from a non-profit "care management organization" that was assigned to assist their family.

    Miguel Garrido, the 23-year-old former case manager from Monmouth Junction, was arrested and charged with several crimes on November 17, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Garrido was employed with the non-profit, Coordinated Family Care, which is located on Silver Line Drive in North Brunswick.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Ilya Arbit

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico and quickly became one of the most devastating storms to hit the island in modern history.

    With sustained winds of 64 miles per hour and gusts of up to 109 miles per hour, Puerto Rico was in a complicated position, having to respond to one of the most intense natural disasters in its history despite undergoing internal challenges including its own debt crisis, corruption, and political uncertainty.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    EDISON, NJ—A former Township police officer who left the force in disgrace last year is now behind bars, after the cases mounting against him and his wife came to a dramatic conclusion in September.

    Michael Dotro, a 40-year-old Manalapan resident who had become a poster child for bad behavior in one of the state's most corrupt police departments, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison on September 7.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    DUNELLEN, NJ—Christopher Tarver, a 45-year-old Jackson Township resident who once led the Recreation Departments in Dunellen and North Plainfield, faces up to 50 years behind bars after being convicted by a jury on a slew of sex crimes.

    Tarver also coached the Middlesex County College basketball team and served as "Executive Director" at the Monmouth Power Sports Club, a traveling basketball team.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police investigated "an altercation at a party that resulted in gunfire" on October 28 at approximately 2am, according to a press release and a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The shooting that injured a 21-year-old New Brunswick man occurred following a brawl outside a private home at 120 Hamilton Street, just steps away from the university's main campus.

  • Photo Credit: Carlos Ramírez

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On October 20, city police found themselves simultaneously engaged in a foot pursuit and a search for a truck that fled a motor vehicle stop made "as a follow up to a narcotics investigation," according to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    Two South Jersey men, the driver and passenger of the vehicle stopped at Suydam Street and Remsen Avenue shortly after 6:00pm, were both arrested, the department said in a statement.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 24-year-old man will be behind bars until after his 43rd birthday after admitting to a brutal sexual assault on a borough woman.

    Brandon Cox is currently residing in Southwoods State Prison in Bridgeton and won't be eligible for parole until September 14, 2036, according to the NJ Department of Corrections.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Residents are demanding an independent investigation after police videos raised new contradictions with the story that County Prosecutor Andrew Carey has propagated about the death of Daniel Nagahama.

    Nagahama, a 28-year-old Edison resident, passed away at a New Brunswick hospital just three hours after officers with the Highland Park Police Department (HPPD) deployed pepper spray against him during a rough arrest on June 2, 2016.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil/PACE University

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Documents released in response to a lawsuit against the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) reveal inconsistencies in their official story of a man who died hours after police interacted with him last year.

    This much is clear: Police found 28-year-old Daniel Nagahama alive, but the young man's life came to an early end just hours after his run-in with cops led him to be taken to a hospital in the Hub City.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating a seemingly random act of criminal sexual contact inside one of the school's dormitories.

    The alleged crime took place on Friday, October 13 at approximately 4:30 PM inside Mettler Hall, located on the university's flagship "College Avenue Campus" in New Brunswick's Sixth Ward.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Taxpayers as far away as Pompton Lakes are sharing a growing, multi-million dollar financial burden to fund a team of lawyers representing New Brunswick's Mayor and top police brass in two serious court cases.

    In 2012, four African-American police officers filed lawsuits claiming they were discriminated against by their corrupt bosses.

    Now, after five years of preparation and posturing, one of the two New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) cases has been settled.

  • Photo Credit: Twitter

    SPOTSWOOD, NJ—Less than a year after losing his re-election bid, former Mayor Nicholas Poliseno is now facing criminal charges of third-degree charges of stealing from a local scholarship fund.

    County Prosecutor Andrew Carey's office filed criminal charges against Poliseno, and the 39-year-old former politician was allowed to surrender to authorities on October 10.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city resident was found guilty of stalking and killing his 24-year-old ex-girlfriend, Alicia Martinez-Izaguirr, as she arrived for work on the morning of June 24, 2015.

    Giver Quiroz-Vasquez was convicted of the killing after a jury trial, and will now face between 30 years and life in prison when he is sentenced on January 18 by Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Chairing an off-the-rails public meeting on November 15, the leader of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) lashed out and accused this reporter of both spreading lies and being under investigation.

    It had been seven weeks since the board had met in public, and the first meeting since a scathing federal audit questioned over $1.4 million in the Housing Authority's spending.

    For the first time in years, residents showed up en masse to voice their concerns about the communities run by the NBHA. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Few may know it, but there's an important connection between two criminal cases prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.

    The two scandalous, seemingly unconnected stories reveal different facets of the city's corrupt underbelly, including the bribery accusations that rocked its Water Utility nearly one year ago.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County

    SOUTH RIVER, NJ—While the high-profile races in Middlesex County's November 7 elections were all landslide victories for incumbents favored to win, many local races for municipal and school offices came down to the wire.

    Just three votes separated victory and defeat in the South River Borough Council race, according to preliminary results. Meanwhile, the winners and losers in the borough's Board of Education race were separated by just 77 votes.

  • Photo Credit: Tom Franklin

    This article is part of a statewide series called Voting Block, which is a collaborative reporting effort to encourage civil political discussion and more informed voters in neighborhoods across New Jersey ahead of this fall’s gubernatorial election. 

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As New Jersey prepares to elect a new Governor on November 7, the Hub City's booming downtown boasts more residents than ever before, giving the neighborhood a chance to flex its political muscle in a way that it has never done before.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hoping to become the next Governor, Phil Murphy drew dozens of locals to Gambino's Inn on Remsen Avenue, a crowd that included one-third of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners.

    Just 15 minutes before Murphy's "town hall" event on October 25, the board was supposed to meet for the first time since a scathing federal audit questioned over $1.4 million in spending.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, DE—The number two man at New Jersey's largest hospital chain surrendered to authorities in Delaware on October 27 after being charged with a slew of creepy crimes.

    So far, RWJBarnabas Health Systems has been quiet about the criminal charges against their one-time Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Gerald "Jay" Picerno.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) failed to properly administer federal funds and could face funding cuts as punishment, according to a scathing audit by federal authorities.

    Despite the poor optics, the NBHA has refused to release its Corrective Action Plan, a document that might respond to the "weaknesses in the Authority’s governance, management, and operations" identified in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) audit.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An aggravated assault outside of a well-known bar near the Rutgers University campus generated another Rutgers crime alert on Saturday, September 16.

    At approximately 12:58 AM on that night, a man waiting in line outside the Olde Queens Tavern on Easton Avenue reportedly "became engaged in a verbal exchange with five unknown males," according to the crime alert released by Rutgers University Police Department.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: ICE

    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Sayreville man was arrested on September 12 and charged with "selling medical records that he stole from a storage unit in East Brunswick," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Authorities stated that "over 1,000 medical records," which contained confidential personal information, were stolen and then sold, allegedly by Fernando Rios.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A young man accused of stabbing a fellow student with a box-cutter on Delafield Street has been released from county jail to await possible indictment and trial.

    Robert Mannifield, age 20, is apparently a student at Rutgers University and a member of the Tau Kapa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, a fact that was first reported by The Tab.

  • Photo Credit: The South Amboy Sayreville Times

    SAYREVILLE, NJ–A police officer lost his job after admitting he covered up his patrol car's dashboard camera while running a “quick, personal errand.”

    James P. Pizzillo, age 33, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree charge of tampering with public records on August 3.

    Pizzillo was admitted into the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program by Judge Michael Toto on September 25.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office had recommended one to five years of probation, without any jail time.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A murder case that begin with the body of an 18-year-old man being found on Conrail property in Perth Amboy led to a murder charge against a man from El Salvador who was arrested over 200 miles away on unrelated charges.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) identified the young victim as Perth Amboy resident Jose David Guardado-Leiva on August 28, three days after his body was found by a passerby near William Street.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (10/23): The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office announced that Michael “Maniac” Martin, the second of the two suspects wanted in this case, has been arrested by Philadelphia Police.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old city resident was fatally shot while sitting in a parked car on Fulton Street, about an hour before midnight on the evening of August 18.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A Perth Amboy man was sentenced to a 25-year prison term for a previously undisclosed kidnapping in 2014 , according to an announcement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Francisco Green, age 35, was found guilty of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault after a 7-day jury trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick back in January.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Corruption Bureau of the state's Division of Criminal Justice secured indictments against two longtime city workers on September 29.

    The two indicted public officials, meter reader William Ortiz and clerk Joseph DeBonis are both 55 years old and have been with the city's water utility since the 1990's.

  • Photo Credit: Legacy.com

    SOMERSET, NJ—An 18-year-old man from Park Street shot and killed Chamari Webb, an 18-year-old woman on Battle Place in the Somerset section of the Township on August 9, according to authorities.

    The tragic killing took place on the block where the young woman resided shortly before 8am on a Wednesday morning.  Webb was hospitalized and pronounced dead by 8:29am.

    According to authorities, the suspect and victim encountered one another at a Millstone Road deli shortly before the fatal shooting.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A powerful official with several public jobs, including a key role at the city's parking authority, became the second person in the city's history to be fined for violating New Jersey's Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL).

    Leonard Bier, a longtime attorney for the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA), will be required to pay just $200 as punishment for multiple ethical violations that were brought to light by this newspaper in March 2016.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    MONROE, NJ—Michael Tuhy, 30-year-old Township resident, is facing charges of lewdness, third-degree endangering sexual contact with a child, and making terroristic threats following his July 13 arrest.

    According to the initial complaint filed against him, Michael A. Tuhy threatened a 14-year-old boy and asked the boy to perform oral sex on him.  It also stated that Tuhy exposed his penis and urinated in front of the victim.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: GoFundMe.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Authorities confirmed that they have arrested a North Brunswick man they believe is responsible for the city's second homicide of 2017.

    The fatal shooting occurred on Seventh Street, two blocks north of the New Brunswick Middle School, at around 10:30 am on July 14.

    In a press statement three days later, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) identified 25-year-old Christian Cortes as the shooter who took the life of Desiree Alvarado, a 38-year-old mother of four.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 13, Detectives arrested a registered nurse from Perth Amboy who worked at both of the New Brunswick's hospitals on charges of sexual assault.

    Wilber Hernandez, a 29-year-old who previously worked at three different hospitals in Northern New Jersey, is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with two different patients since he started working at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital on July 25, 2016.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick's police department continues to fight accusations of corruption and racism from a number of litigants, including some of its own police officers.

    Taxpayers have already paid over $341,000 for private attorneys to defend seven-term Mayor James Cahill and two other officials in two explosive cases filed more than five years ago.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On April 6, the Rutgers University Board of Governors quietly passed a new policy that makes any student activity that disrupts "University activity, class lecture, adminstrative function, or official University business" an offense under the school's "Student Code of Conduct."

    The new policy is a revision to a so-called "disruption policy" that has existed since 1974, according to President Bob Barchi.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 1, Alberto Rivas took over one of the judiciary's most powerful positions, after the New Jersey Supreme Court made him Middlesex County's Assignment Judge.

    Rivas replaces Travis Francis, who retired from the bench after 10 years as Assignment Judge and more than 25 years in the Middlesex Vicinage.

    “I am humbled and honored at the confidence the Chief has expressed in me,” Judge Rivas said. “I look forward to working with our talented group of jurists and staff.”

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It didn't take long for Immigrations and Cutoms Enforcement (ICE) and the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) to find a way to work together.

    Just four months after a policy was put in place limiting NBPD's co-operation with ICE agents on immigration matters, at least two local cops were spotted at the scene of a federal cocaine bust that brought a slew of agents from ICE's Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) to the city.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—While most residents were taking in the festivities during the 4th of July, residents of one Fourth Ward neighborhood experienced a "large disturbance," according to police.

    Allegedly, a man was waving around a weapon that looked like a handgun—but may have turned out to be an imitation firearm—on the grounds of the New Brunswick Housing Authority's Scwartz-Robeson public housing complex.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The family of a victim killed earlier this year, just a few steps from his Hamilton Street apartment will soon be served justice.

    According to the June 26 press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), the three men accused of taking the life of 29-year-old Enrique Perez Galindo, a father of four kids who was killed during a random robbery, have pled guilty to manslaughter.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    FRANKLIN, NJ—Authorities are investigating a string of shootings that took place over the Memorial Day weekend in the Somerset section of the Township.

    County Prosecutor Michael Robertson said the first shooting took place on Friday, May 27, at approximately 8:58 p.m.

    Following a 9-1-1 call, the Franklin Township Police Department (FTPD) responded to a report of gunshots fired at a Minetta Road residence.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—A contractor whose company made tens of thousands of dollars working for the embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) was arrested in an unrelated burglary in East Brunswick.

    John Solazzo, a 53-year-old resident of Monroe and a relative of the county's disgraced former Sheriff, is also the owner of a company that specializes in "property upgrade and management," according to numerous invoices he has submitted to the authority over the past several years.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—The Lietenant Governor and a former Ambassador to Germany celebrated their victories in the primary election for the state's highest office on June 6.

    Both Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy will face off in November's general election, along with up to five independent candidates who submitted petitions to get on the ballot.

    Murphy was widely favored to secure the nomination, but Guadagno's path was more competitive.  Both secured about 48% of the vote statewide.

  • Photo Credit: Somerset Co. Prosecutor's Office

    FRANKLIN, NJ--A 31-year-old resident of Whittier Avenue, in the Somerset section of the Township, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a four-year-old child, according to authorities.

    The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office (SCPO) announced the charges, specifically second-degree sexual assault of a minor less than 13 years of age, and third-degree endangering welfare of a child, against David Lutz on May 26.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's Fire Director has crashed another city-owned sport utility vehicle (SUV), at least the fourth such vehicle he has damaged since 2004.

    It marks the 20th crash of the man's driving career, and that's despite  several years spent with his license suspended a total of eighteen times.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A 49-year-old ticket agent for NJTransit has been arrested and charged with official misconduct, theft, and forgery over a scam to sell counterfeit tickets at New Brunswick's downtown train station.

    John A. Davey, who hails from East Brunswick and worked at the agency for 29 years, is set to appear on June 13 at Veteran's Courthouse in Essex County, where the charges were filed.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Lambasting his opponent's fundraising and campaign spending as "pay-to-play at its worst," a Middlesex County politician running for Governor took aim at the system of how political parties select candidates that appear on the "party line."

    A Sayreville native who has been an Assemblyman for 21 years, John Wisniewski survived his own campaign finance scandal in 2012, but re-invented himself after becoming the lone member of the legislature to support the Presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—County law enforcement is being unusually quiet about a Sayreville police officer that was caught covering up his patrol car's on-board camera for reasons that remain unclear, according to a document obtained by New Brunswick Today.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) has been known for its secrecy, especially in cases where fellow law enforcement officers are the defendants, but this case stands out among the rest.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Retired Hub City firefighter Dell Walker passed away on April 11 at the age of 55, leaving behind many friends and memories.

    Walker had just recently quit the firefighter job, after more than a year of being suspended without pay, and he faced the prospect of several years in prison.

    But, in the wake of his death, he was remembered by many in the community as one of the New Brunswick High School (NBHS) Zebras' best athletes of all-time.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Stephen Roca

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Another board member has quit what is the third-worst housing authority in the United States, according to federal government's Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS).

    Frank Simpson officially resigned from the embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners on March 17, leaving them without a required member who is also a resident of the agency's housing.