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

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The five-member city council approved the standard meeting schedule for 2013: the first and third Wednesday of every month at City Hall.

    The meetings are held on the top floor of City Hall, located at 78 Bayard Street in downtown.  Parking is provided free to anyone attending the meeting in the lot behind City Hall.

  • Photo Credit: Laurel Police Department

    WORCESTER CO., MD—In one of the biggest drug busts in the history of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, state police offiicials announced Friday that a man from New Brunswick, Donald P. Gayle, had been arrested and charged with possessing 350 lbs. of marijuana following a routine traffic stop.

    (Police)
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    It has been our pleasure to cover the City of New Brunswick for over a year now.  We launched this independent community newspaper in December 2011 to improve the level of discourse in our community.

    Please enjoy our top twelve storylines from 2012, which represent the very best work of our staff of journalists, researchers, and photographers.

     

    Thanks for reading!

     

  • Photo Credit: Jagga Singh

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Gov. Chris Christie announced today that new legislation expanding the Rutgers Board of Governors allows him to appoint Martin Perez, the President of the New Brunswick-based Latino Leadership Alliance of NJ, without the consent of the State Senate.

  • Photo Credit: Armelin Media

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Tonight will be the first time hip-hop music is played at the Court Tavern since it re-opened in October.

    For decades, the small bar with a big basement has become one of the seminal music venues in the state, catering to acts of nearly every genre.  It closed suddenly in January and re-opened in October under new management.

    (Music)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Members of New Brunswick's school board will be elected next year for the first time in city history, thanks to the passage of a referendum that will end the mayor-appointed board of education.

    According to results released today, more than three weeks after the election was held, Middlesex County Clerk Elaine Flynn certified the referendum's passage by a vote of 3,407 to 3,309.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE: Thirteen contested ballots will be decided in the courtroom of Judge Vincent LeBlon tomorrow at 1:30pm in the Middlesex County Courthouse, 56 Paterson Street in New Brunswick.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Supporters of an elected school board packed a public hearing Tuesday evening to challenge the disqualification of more than 380 ballots cast at polling places across the city on election day.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Public Schools

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Patricia Ruggeri, an administrator with the New Brunswick school district since 2005 until her recent resignation, was arrested at her new job today and charged with stealing over $12,000 in student fees.

    In 2011, Ruggeri made $90,488 as a vice principal at the city's Adult Learning Center at 268 Baldwin Street.  Since 1988, the free school has helped adult students earn their Graduation Equivalency Diploma (GED).

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Darryll Underwood has been charged with gun crimes for the second time this month, according to a release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

    Police determined that Underwood targeted a 28-year-old Raheem Fuqua, shooting him and killing a 21-year-old mother in front of the city's Progressive Masonic Temple on Hale Street shortly after 2am on October 6.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Nat Sowinski

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Voters just might have made history in the Hub City, where the results of a hotly-contested ballot question remain too close to call a full day after the polls closed.

    The question would give the city's voters the opportunity to select the city's school board for the first time in history, a power currently reserved for the mayor.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Today is proud to endorse the grassroots campaign for an elected school board in New Brunswick, which is asking people to vote "YES" on "MUNICIPAL QUESTION - SCHOOL BOARD QUESTION" in today's election.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Political figures, the Rutgers administration, and students leaders are in agreement about one thing this election: New Jersey voters should support increased investment in our public colleges by voting "Yes" on State Public Question #1 today.

    New Brunswick Today is proud to join them with our wholehearted endorsement of the ballot question, an initiative sure to benefit the larger cause of education as well as the local economy in New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Dale Caldwell is the Chairman of a political committee that has spent big money to achieve one goal: to ensure New Brunswick does not have popular elections for the city school board, a body he has served on since 1999.

    The committee's argument is that appointed school boards are less political than elected ones.  However, their case may have been hurt after a controversy involving Caldwell in the state's capital city.

  • Photo Credit: Mike Shanahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact on New Jersey will affect the election right here in New Brunswick, where the city has decided to downsize from fourteen polling places to thirteen.

    Residents of Tov Manor, Dewey Heights, University Mews, Cobb Road, and Rutgers University's Henderson and Gibbons dormitories normally vote at the University's Labor Education Center.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The first campaign finance report filed by a mysterious political committee advocating against electing the city's school board has revealed their primary source of funding is Mayor James Cahill, who currently has the power to appoint the board members.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ— The city government announced that the state Office of Emergency Management plans to implement a gasoline rationing policy tomorrow that will use the final numeral of license plates to determine which vehicles can gas up on a given day.

    Just over an hour later, Governor Chris Christie confirmed he had signed an executive order to implement the new policy in twelve NJ counties, including Middlesex, starting at noon tomorrow.

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    UPDATE (10:25am): The story has been updated to reflect the end of the boil water advisory announced this morning.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A new man in charge of the city's water department has his hands full after storm damage left the utility with problems that caused Rutgers University to order an unprecedented evacuation of dozens of dormitories.

    Meanwhile, city residents were being instructed not to drink tap water unless they boil it first, until the water was declared safe at 10:25am this morning.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Between 5,000 and 10,000 customers are without power as Hurricane Sandy's impact intensified throughout the day.

    No longer a hurricane, Sandy made landfall five miles south of Atlantic City just over an hour ago.

    Meanwhile, 80 local residents moved in to Lord Stirling Community School on George Street to wait out the storm, by far the largest collection of county residents seeking shelter.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As Hurricane Sandy approached the East Coast today, county and city officials joined the state government in declaring a State of Emergency.

    New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill called for a mandatory evacuation of flood-prone areas near the Raritan River, and ordered residents not to drive on city streets, beginning Monday at 9am.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Police Department

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—There's plenty of blame to go around for a serious car accident involving a Rutgers University police vehicle and a student pedestrian last month near a popular campus bus stop on College Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Development Corp.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A new fitness & wellness center opening in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is holding a career fair tonight in the former site of the Rutgers University bookstore.

    The fair runs from 5-7pm in the Ferren Mall, located directly across from New Brunswick's train station.  Walk-ins are welcome, and those who wish to pre-register can do so here.

  • Photo Credit: News 12 NJ

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Jessica Torres, the 21-year-old woman shot to death on Hale Street early Saturday morning leaves behind a two-year-old son, Jeremiah.

    Friends called her "Pretty Jessy" and said she was "warm and loving" in a story that aired earlier today on News 12 New Jersey.  She was pronounced dead at 3:01am following a shooting outside of a social club.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Zax Buzz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Yet another life has been claimed by gun violence in New Brunswick, at least the fourth this year.  A 21-year-old female died today from gunshot wounds, and another victim remains hospitalized in critical condition this afternoon.

    According to a report in the Home News Tribune, city activist Tormel Pittman said the 21-year-old woman was the mother of a two-year-old child.

    Pittman also told the HNT's Bob Makin that his cousin Raheem Fuqua, the father of a young son, was critically injured in the shooting.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Richard Rabinowitz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Video evidence of a tragic car accident involving a 21-year-old student pedestrian and a Rutgers police cruiser shows that the officer behind the wheel was not breaking the speed limit prior to the accident.

    The video obtained by NewBrunswickToday.com shows that the vehicle was accelerating and had covered approximately 50 feet in 1.73 seconds, before striking Ryan Sikder, of Wayne, NJ.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Local police only interviewed two witnesses, including one who a police report said was "confused with the incident," before closing out an investigation into a student pedestrian that was struck and seriously injured by a police car last month.

    The driver of the vehicle was a 39-year-old RUPD officer named Anthony Timbol.  He told investigators that he was attempting to head straight on College Avenue, and passed a Rutgers bus on the right before striking a pedestrian.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Emergency vehicles responded to a fire that broke out tonight around 11pm at a warehouse on the border between New Brunswick and Somerset County's Franklin Township.

    Fire companies from as far away as East Brunswick and Edison responded to the blaze at 366 Somerset Street, the home of Ding & A Trading Corporation.

    Firefighters battled the blaze well into the morning, which sent smoke all through the city's downtown and the area of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Development Corp.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Don 't let the enormous "Block R" on the side of the building fool you, the city's first downtown dormitory is not owned by Rutgers.  And, according to the Daily Targum's Brianna Provenzano, it may soon change hands.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Different grassroots groups are expected to work hard over the next month to get out the same message: "Vote Yes For Education."

    During the November 6 presidential election, voters will find three optional questions at the bottom of their ballot, two being asked of all the voters in New Jersey and one just for New Brunswick voters.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On a street better known for its college parties than gun violence, a nineteen-year-old Raritan Valley Community College student was murdered Thursday evening, fatally shot in the chest and shoulder while hanging out at a friend's house.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Just 16 hours after a 19-year-old man was shot dead a few blocks away, another life was claimed in a tragic car accident two blocks away.

    A yellow van operated by Woodbridge-based Sunny Transportation struck an elderly man, running over him and his walker near the intersection of French and Plum Streets yesterday at about 1:20pm.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Judge Dennis Nieves set bail at $1 million for Dawonne Cooper, a city resident who police arrested and charged with the murder of Joshua Zhou, a student at Raritan Valley Community College.

    Zhou, a 19-year-old New Brunswick resident, was pronounced dead last night after he was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  The shooting took place in the basement of 44 Robinson Street.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: AllSazEMusic.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Friends and family are mourning the loss of a 19-year-old man who was shot dead in a basement on Robinson Street in the city's Sixth Ward.

    Joshua Zhou, who went by the nickname "Chino," was originally from Somerset, but lived in New Brunswick.

    A spokesman for Rutgers University confirmed he was not a student at the University, but he was friends with many undergraduates according to those close to him.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (1:04pm): We can now confirm that the victim in last night's shooting on Robinson St. passed away at the age of 19.  See this story for the update.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Multiple units responded to a report of a shooting at 44 Robinson Street at around 9:28 last night, where they found a person who had been shot in the chest and shoulder.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Justin Freid

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Easton Avenue is usually a vibrant area on the weekends, especially when Rutgers is in session.

    But last weekend, it became a dangerous place as a 20-year-old city resident was shot near the intersection with Easton Avenue.  Police said the victim was "extremely uncooperative," according to New Brunswick's Patch.com.

    The next night a driver managed to flip a car completely over just around the corner on Hamilton Street.

    No one was injured and the driver did not hit anything.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Yfrog

    UPDATE (9/25): A family friend of the injured student has contacted us to correct an error in this story.  According to an email received this afternoon, the victim returned home from the hospital "a few days ago."  The friend said the victim is "still recovering and in great pain."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Workers at a downtown construction site were seen working hard until 10pm or later every night last week.  And many of the same workers were back at the site on Saturday and Sunday.

    They are putting in the extra hours to ensure that the city's latest large-scale redevelopment project opens on time.  A FreshGrocer supermarket, the first of its brand in New Jersey, is slated to open November 2, according to officials.

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    FAYETTEVILLE, AK—For the first time in nearly three years, the Associated Press poll of sportswriters has ranked Rutgers University's football team among the top 25 in the nation.

    Coming in at #23, the Knights boast a 4-0 record in their first season since longtime head coach Greg Schiano surprisingly left the team for a job coaching professional football earlier this year.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As the seasons changed during this morning's autumnal equinox, most folks might not know it but something will be very different this fall in New Brunswick.

    This season will be the city's first since the 1960's without community leader Charles Renda.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In the first official statement on a car accident involving a Rutgers police vehicle, Rutgers University spokesman Greg Trevor said that the New Brunswick Police Department "is the investigating agency on the matter."

    As we reported yesterday, a student was seriously injured after being struck by a Rutgers police car on College Avenue at 5:24pm Wednesday.

  • Photo Credit: Anna Ski

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—More than 36 hours after a Rutgers University Police Department patrol car struck and injured a student crossing the street, the University's Media Relations Department has yet to issue a statement or respond to numerous requests for comment.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Students taking classes in Scott Hall said they could hear the screams of a Rutgers student injured by a Rutgers University Police Department vehicle while crossing College Avenue at approximately 5:24pm today.

    Details are few and far between on the incident, and neither the victim nor the officer driving the car have been identified.

  • Photo Credit: Michael Shanahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman was hospitalized after she was struck by a car on Hamilton Street at about 1:15pm on Friday.

    But that incident, which occurred near the intersection with Plum Street in front of Ta-ta's Pizza, was only the beginning. 

    Police officers briefly closed one block of Hamilton Street as EMS crews tended to the unidentified female victim.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: WWF

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Most famous for winning the Governor's seat in Minnesota as a third-party candidate, Jesse Ventura has lived a remarkably interesting life.

    And that life will take him to New Brunswick this Sunday afternoon to sign copies of his new book, "DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODicans: No More Gangs in Government."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—According to police radio transmissions, a man driving a 1998 gold Cadillac Deville threatened to blow up the Ferren Mall and Parking Garage yesterday shortly before 3pm.

    But, as it turned out, the man had only expressed his "hope" that al-Qaeda would "take over" the United States and "blow up" the parking deck.

    A dispatcher asked an NBPD officer to change course and report to the deck after receiving the alarming call from parking authority employees at about 2:56pm.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Two major events in New Brunswick will engage Central New Jersey's Latino community this weekend.

    On Saturday, community members will gather in Buccleuch Park from 1-6pm to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.  New Brunswick has the second highest population of Mexicans in New Jersey.  (Only Passaic, NJ has a higher population.)

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A tractor trailer overturned at the intersection of Routes 1 & 18 at about 10am this morning, causing the a ramp connecting the two highways to be closed.

    Police expect the ramp to be closed until at least 2pm.

  • Photo Credit: Farewell Architects

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's Planning Board voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to approve the demolition of six buildings and a garage to make way for a new, more compact campus for the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS).

    The new development was spurred by financial constraints currently facing the 227-year-old seminary, and the dilapidated condition of their campus, according to city officials.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE: The city government has posted an official map that indicates "complete streets" lanes will be installed on Somerset Street and part of College Avenue.  It also displays which lanes will be dedicated lanes, and which streets will only get "sharrows," indicating that cars and bikes should share the road.

  • Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County Office of Health Services has issued a rabies alert after discovering a rabid bat in the city's Sixth Ward.

    The bat was found in a basement near the intersection of College Avenue and Lafayette Street, near the west side of Buccleuch Park and the Raritan River, according to a report on NJ.com.

    MyCentralJersey.com first reported the alert at 5:25pm yesterday.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Details are few and far between in New Brunswick's latest shooting, which occurred in front of 83 Throop Avenue yesterday at about 3:20pm.

    At least one of the victims was shot in the head, according to police radio transmissions from the scene of the shooting.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police have captured a man they say is responsible for a sexual assault that took place Thursday afternoon in a French Street home.

    Police were called at about 1:30pm, but they were unsure of whether they were responding to a break-in or an assault.  As it turned out, it was both.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Jake Kostman

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City taxpayers will pay $95,000 to two young men who say they were beaten after the NBPD wrongfully broke into their house in December 2010, while county taxpayers will chip in an additional $25,000 to the victims.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Public schools in Newark, Camden, Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Passaic surpassed New Brunswick's new High School in this year's edition of New Jersey Monthly's "Top Public High Schools."

    The formula used by the magazine to rate high schools relies on graduation rates, standardized test scores, the ratio of students to faculty, the percentage of faculty with advanced degrees, and the number of Advanced Placement courses offerred.

  • Photo Credit: Michael Shanahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Gov. Chris Christie and NJ Senate Pres. Steven Sweeney paid a short visit to the Rutgers Student Center on College Ave. Wednesday for an invite-only ceremony to celebrate the signing of a bill that will effectively end the existence of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ) after 42 years.

  • Photo Credit: Charles Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The police officer who shot and killed an unarmed city resident last September will leave the police force in disgrace, after an internal affairs investigation found he violated police procedures.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NJ State Supreme Court

    TRENTON, NJ—After four years of legal wrangling, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously last month that an impromptu closed session held by Rutgers Board of Governors in 2008 violated the state's Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).  The board has broad powers to set tuition rates, negotiate with unions, buy land and build new buildings, as well as hire and fire the University's President.

    The ruling, however, did not go as far as the man who filed suit, Rutgers University alum Francis J. McGovern, would have liked.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—No one was injured in a fire that damaged a building in a condominium complex in the Fourth Ward yesterday evening.

    But the fire seriously damaged building eight at the Hampton Club condominium complex and displaced 26 families who were living there.

    The fire was reported at approximately 5:55 pm, according to a report on New Brunswick's Patch.com.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two blocks of Joyce Kilmer Avenue were closed to traffic today as two cars were consumed by a flash flood near the avenue's bridge over Mile Run.

    The bridge, located near the intersection with Charles Street, was re-built in an attempt to curtail the frequent flooding in 2008, but the area still suffers from some of the worst flooding in the city.

    Residents today said that the flooding is worse than it was before the attempt to fix the problem.  

  • Photo Credit: NJ State Police

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city government and board of education established a fund to collect donations for the families of two young boys who died in the Raritan River Sunday night.

    Checks can be made to "New Brunswick Board of Education in care of Periera-Rodas & Nicholas Memorial Fund" and sent to the Board of Education's office at 268 Baldwin Street.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charile Kratovil

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Authorities were seen removing the bodies of two young children from the banks of the Raritan River earlier today.  The children were reported missing by their mothers, who lived in New Brunswick.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NJ State Police

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Jersey State Police have issued an alert requesting public assistance locating two children who went missing in New Brunswick last night.

    Francisco Perera, a 10-year-old Hispanic boy and his friend Devine Nicholas, an 11-year-old black boy were reported missing.  The public is instructed to call the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000 ext. 2554 if they have any information regarding their whereabouts.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In a single trial combined in the interests of "judicial efficiency," two co-defendants charged with obstructing a city street during a protest received different verdicts from Judge Mary Casey.

    Tormel Pittman, the leader of the demonstration was found guilty of violating the city ordinance.  He was sentenced to pay a $403 fine, and has opted not to appeal the verdict.

    Just a few minutes earlier, Judge Casey found Gabriella Aron, age 20, not guilty of the same crime.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The centerpiece of New Brunswick's new tallest building, a Barnes & Noble bookstore, opened yesterday on Somerset Street.

    The store will serve as the main bookstore for Rutgers University.  Until last week, the University bookstore was located in the Ferren Mall and parking garage, where it first opened in 1982.

    In a similar setup to the old location, students can obtain their required textbooks in the basement of the new store.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Court Tavern hasn't changed much over the years, but it sure is changing quick now.

    Last Thursday, a worker was spotted taking down the bar's signage.

    As owner Mike Barrood prepares to re-open the historic rock club and dive bar, he and his workers are spending more and more time fixing up the establishment.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City housing inspectors swarmed a condominium complex in response to a news report by News 12 New Jersey's Walter Kane.

    The housing inspectors are giving the condo association 60 days to make much-needed repairs before heavy fines kick in.

  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    NEWARK, NJ—Attorneys for Victor Rodriguez will file a federal lawsuit against the City of New Brunswick and Middlesex County today.

    NewBrunswickToday.com has obtained a video that could be critically important in their case.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Residents have fought for bike lanes in New Brunswick for decades, but to no avail.

    That could all change very soon, as City Council passed a resolution at their July 18 meeting authorizing the city's engineering department to move forward with the installation of the first lanes in the city's history.

    City Engineer Tom Guldin said the lanes will probably be ready for use by late October if all goes according to plan.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Police Department

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's police force had seven extra sets of eyes and ears in the crowd at this year's fireworks celebration, as auxiliary police worked for the first time in over a decade.

    Auxiliary police get free training from the Middlesex County Police Academy, do not carry guns, and are unpaid volunteers who give a minimum of 110 hours per year.

    Lt. JT Miller said, "It is our intention to use the auxiliary for events."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Associated Press

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A recently released audiotape of a June 2009 telephone call to local police reveals the shock and confusion caused when a worker at a New Brunswick apartment complex stumbled upon a secret spy office in one of the units.

    The apartment was rented by an undercover New York City police officer under a fake name, where it was used to aid undercover officers from the NYPD working in a far-flung surveillance operation that spied on muslims at Rutgers University and across the Northeast.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Remsen Avenue may not be recognizable even to its own residents as the city embarks on a massive sewer repair project between George and Sandford Streets.

    Nearly a dozen of pieces of heavy machinery remain parked up and down the corridor, even during nights and weekends, when work is not being done.

    Each day, contractors dig up a little more of the road and the sewer below.  Truckloads of dirt and rocks from the project are then dumped at the city's Department of Public Works on Jersey Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Multiple sources have alleged that the number three man in the county prosecutor's office did not retire on his own terms.

    In fact, two sources are saying that there is a criminal investigation into Nicholas Sewtich, the recently retired deputy 1st assistant prosecutor.

    Sewitch, a 28-year veteran of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office oversaw all homicide cases until his abrupt departure earlier this month.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick is the only community in Middlesex County with a fully-paid fire department.  And those firefighters may soon face random drug testing if their union votes to ratify a new contract with the city.

    "We have negotiated with the firemen for a nubmer of years now this drug testing policy.  We now have it this close to being signed off on in an agreement," said Business Administrator Thomas Loughlin at the most recent City Council meeting.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The leader of the city's Democratic Organization, TK Shamy, is the assistant city attorney mentioned specifically in a report by the State Comptroller's Office, according to Business Administrator Thomas Loughlin.

    As we reported yesterday, the report detailed a state investigation into the City of New Brunswick and 57 other local governments.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The City Council unanimously approved a budget of $76.1 million for general expenses for the year 2012.

    The budget means that homeowners will have their property taxes go up again by about 6.5 cents for every $100 of assessed property value.

    Given the average home value in New Brunswick of $118,000, that means the average homeowner's tax bill will be about $75 higher than it was last year.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers Athletics

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Benjamin Bucca may be best-known as the Rutgers Women's Tennis coach.  But that's just one of his four public jobs.

    Bucca also serves as the attorney for both the Rent Control Board and the Planning Board for the City of New Brunswick.  He also serves as the attorney for the Highland Park Zoning Board of Adjustment.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two restaurants that are very popular in New York City have decided to open up their first locations in New Brunswick.

    Brother Jimmy's, a barbecue restaurant with five locations in Manhattan, received unanimous approval last week from New Brunswick's Planning Board for large signage to attract customers to their new location.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick City Market

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Restaurant Week is fast becoming a New Brunswick tradition. And, each year since its inception, it has lasted two weeks, despite its name.

    The organization that manages New Brunswick's Special Improvement District, New Brunswick City Market, is sponsoring the third annual incarnation of the popular event inspired by New York City's.

    So when you're getting a sub at Jersey Subs on George Street between July 14-28, don't forget to mention it's Restaurant Week.  You'll get $2 off.

  • Photo Credit: North Brunswick Police Dept.

    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ—North Brunswick's police chief said a township police officer used "great restraint" in apprehending a New Brunswick man, according to a report on NJ.com.

    Officer Robert Frangella arrested the Ryshawn Cromedy, a 25-year-old man who hails from New Brunswick after a footchase.  Officers later recovered at loaded .46 caliber gun he had discarded, according to the report.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Tom Sulcer

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A man has been charged with federal offenses for trying to attempting to bring six razor blades onto an international flight, according to the Bergen Record.

    Michael John Davidson, a 41-year-old city resident paid cash for a ticket to Budapest Hungary, according to the report.

    Authorities allegedly discovered the razors with an X-ray machine at Newark Liberty International Airport.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city's powerful Planning Board voted 7-0 to approve three redevelopment areas for College Avenue.

    The board members, each appointed by Mayor James Cahill, evaluated the next major plan from the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Encouraging news for fans of the famous Court Tavern came at last Thursday's City Council meeting.  The Council approved the transfer of a liquor license to the new owner of the Court Tavern.

    Mike Barrood, the bar's new owner, also owns Mike's Courtside, a bar and restaurant just one block away from the famous rock club.  After the Court Tavern closed its doors in January, Barrood has been working to purchase and renovate the property at 124 Church Street.

    (Music)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City taxpayers may be surprised to learn they are paying for the legal defense of a police officer accused of killing an unarmed man, but they are.

    At their Thursday night meeting, the New Brunswick City Council unanimously approved resolutions authorizing $6,684.50 to pay for attorneys for legal representation of two officers involved in a controversial police killing.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City Council voted unanimously to approve the borrowing of $2.75 million to fund major projects over the next year, including one that will rebuild a dead-end industrial street where a powerful family owns six of eighteen buildings.

    The rebuilding of Jules Lane, a two-block industrial street that's just one-third of a mile long was listed as the first "major project" in the capital plan at Thursday's City Council meeting.

  • Photo Credit: Charles Renda

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Undisputedly, he is the most powerful public official in the city.  He has been its chief executive since 1991, and since 1994, every member of the City Council has been elected with his endorsement.

    Yet, Mayor James Cahill makes himself scarce at the Council's twice-monthly public meetings, usually showing up only for special swearing-in ceremonies every few years and sneaking out before the meeting starts.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After ten years of free housing as Rutgers University's President, Richard McCormick has to get a place of his own.

    The Newark Star-Ledger reported he would be relocating to a highrise condo in downtown New Brunswick.

    McCormick didn't choose to move into "The Vue," a mixed-use building with 42 condominiums that he himself broke ground on a few years ago.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A new 7-11 store is set to open very soon at the intersection of Paterson and George Streets in downtown New Brunswick.

    It will be the city's second 7-11 convenience store, and it will be located just 400 yards away from the other one.

    A man who identified himself as the boss of the existing store said he was "disgusted" with the corporation's decision to open another store so close to his.

    His store opened in 2006 as part of the first downtown dormitory for Rutgers University, Rockoff Hall.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City of New Brunswick celebrated the Fourth of July a little early this year, with a joint fireworks display coordinated with the Boro of Highland Park.

    Fireworks launched from the Boro's Donaldson Park could be seen clearly from all over the city, as crowds gathered atop several of the city's parking decks.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Kevin Jones is one of six employees in New Brunswick's Office of the Mayor, in addition to Mayor James Cahill.

    And now the City Council has appointed him back into another position of power, one that he resigned from last year for mysterious reasons.

    By order of the Council, Jones will again serve as one of seven voting members on the Housing Authority's Board of Commssioners, a body that also serves as the city's redevelopment agency.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 19, the NJ Department of Transportation announced it was suspending the pilot program responsible for installing cameras at 15 intersections in Middlesex County to catch motorists running red lights.

    But don't let that make you think you can beat New Brunswick's camera.

    The problem is that the vast majority of intersections were never checked to ensure the yellow lights were lengthy enough to comply with the state statute.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two men found shot on Suydam Street are in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Universtiy Hospital, according to a report on New Brunswick's Patch.com.

    The story, written by Patch.com's Rachel Gillet, formerly a correspondent for the Daily Targum, described the incident as a "robbery gone bad."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: South China Univ. of Technology

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On Wednesday, the Rutgers University Board of Governors thanked outgoing President Richard McCormick for his service and assigned the school's chief executive position to Richard Edwards.  Edwards will hold the top job until September 1, when Dr. Robert Barchi will take office.

    McCormick went out with a bang, as school officials outlined an ambitous plan to develop several sites in the city's Sixth Ward in a partnership with the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco).

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    UPDATE: The Home News Tribune is reporting that the girl found floating unconsicous in a swimming pool Tuesday afternoon has died.  NBPD spokesman JT Miller did not return three calls from NewBrunswickToday.com seeking an update on her condition.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Several New Brunswick police and fire units scoured a Fifth Ward neighborhood, in search of an autistic 7-year-old girl who had been reported missing at approximately 5:55pm yesterday.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Anish Joshi loved New Brunswick.  He lived in One Spring Street, a highrise condominium complex that was until recently the city's tallest building.

    He worked across the street at 53 Paterson Street, where he ran his own legal practice for years.  Joshi also served as a member of the city's Environmental Commission.

    He recieved the 2012 Professional Acheivement Award from the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association.

  • Photo Credit: Charles Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—When residents bought their townhouse condominiums in the relatively new Fulton Square community in New Brunswick's 2nd Ward, they were told they were buying in a gated community.

    But the gates installed by developer Edgewood Properties proved to be insufficient.  They broke easily and were rarely functional or effective, according to residents.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Nearly one year ago, the nation's top news agency broke an astonishing story that the New York City police department may have been conducting a widespread unconstitutional surveillance operation based in the downtown New Brunswick.

    Now, that same agency, the Associated Press (AP) has filed suit against the city's police department after New Brunswick Police Director Anthony Caputo denied their request for documents and audio related to one of the most peculiar 911 calls ever made in New Brunswick.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charles Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Rutgers University's athletics department is planning to turn over control of their lucrative concessions business next month to a private corporation, according to the response to a public records request filed by NewBrunswickToday.com.

    Sodexo, a multinational corporation based in the suburbs of Paris, France, is expected to take over the concessions operations on July 1, according to Tim Pernetti, the Athletic Director at Rutgers.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's mayor swore in another four police officers that the city has picked up from Trenton's force on May 22.

    A total of seven police officers were hired this year using a grant from the federal government.  All seven came from Trenton, where Mayor Tony Mack laid off 111 officers last year.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charles Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Proposed city laws must be approved twice by the City Council and then signed by the Mayor before they take effect.  Most of these laws, also called "ordinances," are introduced in New Brunswick's City Council and passed unanimously without a fight.

    But one law that all five members supported on "first reading" drew enough criticism at a required public hearing for its "second reading" to force the council to back down and elect not to pass no law at all.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hundreds of community members came out to the dead-end block of Sandford Street next to the headquarters of the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) to celebrate the organization's 40th birthday.

    Food and dessert vendors sold hot and cold dishes, while live musicians serenaded the crowd on stage.  Nearby, a man offerred himself as a victim in the event's dunk tank.  But by far the longest line was for free face-painting.

  • Photo Credit: Charles Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—In a ceremony that was likely extra special for the thousands of mothers who watched their children graduate on Mother's Day, Rutgers extended degrees to a record 13,465 students.

    For the second straight year, the University held a large ceremony at Rutgers Stadium, as well as dozens of smaller departmental ceremonies where the names of graduates were actually read aloud.

    During the football stadium ceremony, the Rutgers Board of Governors surprised outgoing President Richard McCormick with a Rutgers degree of his own.