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—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)
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    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)
  • Photo Credit:

    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).

  • Photo Credit:

    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)
  • Photo Credit:

    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.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Tensions ran high in the auditorium of Paul Robeson Elementary School at last night's meeting of the Fulton Square Condominium Association, the first since a man was accidentally killed in his home by a bullet not intended for him on May 4.

    Over 50 residents of the Fulton Square neighborhood attended the complicated meeting which included the first (sort of) public explanation of why the "gated" community's gates have been broken or left open pretty much ever since the community opened five years ago.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (4:08am): This story has been updated to include information from the county prosecutor's statement and the Deloatch family's response.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A grand jury sitting in New Brunswick has decided not to file charges against two New Brunswick police officers involved in the killing of a 46-year-old unarmed man.

    But, in a move that the man's next-of-kin called "very unprofessional," the county prosecutor's office announced the decision to the media without informing them first.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Fulton Square HOA

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Just twelve hours after an early morning shooting took place outside townhouses on Neilsen Street, less than a mile away a 40-year-old contractor was shot and killed in his home by what might have been a rifle, according to police transmissions.

    But Richard Chang was not the intended target of the shot that killed him, according to the release.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Rutgers University

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police say a 26-year-old man from Jamesburg was shot in the chest early Friday morning on the southernmost block of Neilsen Street, between Commercial Avenue and Bishop Street.

    The shooting was reported at about 3:30 am at 10 Neilsen Street, a townhouse complex located across the street from the Rutgers Public Safety Building, which houses the Rutgers University Police Department.

  • Photo Credit: Snapfish.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New information in yesterday's Star-Ledger revealed that more than $31,000 has gone missing from a secretive campaign slush fund known as "Women For Good Government."

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—While the mayor of 21 years hasn't yet announced whether he will seek a seventh-term in the city's highest office in 2014, that hasn't kept him from raising funds for the campaign already.

    Cahill filed with New Jersey's Election Law Enforcement Commision (ELEC) to declare contributions towards his 2014 campaign for the Democratic nomination for mayor.

  • Photo Credit: New Jersey Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Money came in from corporations, developers, lawyers, engineers, consultants, and contractors, many that do business with the government, then it was transferred to political campaigns.

    And that's pretty much all that happened at New Brunswick's "Women For Good Government," one of ten bare-bones fundraising operations in New Jersey that have been linked to the Middlesex County Democratic Organization and two state legislators in recent news reports.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After a tense four-hour Planning Board meeting last month, one of the city's biggest property owners and developers unanimously recieved the board's approval for their latest redevelopment project.

    At 135 Somerset Street, Boraie Development plans to demolish eight homes and build a luxury apartment building that will be the one of the tallest in the city's Fifth Ward, second only to the company's other skyscraper, One Spring Street.

  • Photo Credit: Michael Shanahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In New Jersey, a political action committee (PAC) only needs two people to put their name on paper, a chairperson and a treasurer, in order to legally exist.

    Barbara G. Benson served as Women For Good Government's first Chairwoman.  She listed an address in Middlesex Boro and her occupation as an administrator at a law firm in the same municipality.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Democratic Organization

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In August 2007, two women filed paperwork to create a political action committee (PAC) for the stated purpose to "help elect and support candidates to public office."  One was an official associated with the city government and the local Democratic party.

    Over the next three years, "Women For Good Government" quietly raked in over $238,000, and just as quietly donated most of it to political candidates before it mysteriously ceased operations in 2010, with just over $31,000 remaining in its coffers.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers University

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Robert Barchi was named the 20th President of Rutgers University on April 11.  He is a medical doctor and currently the President of Thomas Jefferson University, a medical school in Philadelphia.

    The Rutgers Board of Governors unanimously selected Barchi based on the recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee, which was chaired by Motorola CEO Greg Brown.

  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city's embattled police department has been sued by its own officers for the second time in less than a week, according to court documents.

    This time, the current department director Tony Caputo is charged, as well as City Administrator Thomas Loughlin, and several other defendants that were named in a suit filed a few days earlier by New Brunswick Police Lieutenant Steven Middleton.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Just ten days after two city councilmen announced their retirement, the city's Democratic Committee voted to endorse a ticket of three candidates for New Brunswick City Council in a closed meeting Thursday night.

    The candidates include one incumbent, Elizabeth "Betsy" Garlatti, who has served on the Council since 2004.

    The organization's "executive" committee met privately this week to interview four candidates for the remaining two spots.

  • Photo Credit: Boraie Properties

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - This Tuesday, several residents of New Brunswick's 5th Ward neighborhood are expected to attend a public meeting where the city's Planning Board will decide on an application filed by Boraie Development LLC to build a new mixed-use apartment building.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A New Brunswick police lieutenant recently filed a lawsuit that claims Peter Mangarella, the city's police director from March 2010 to June 2011, used a racial slur that was derogatory of African-Americans.

    The suit also said that Mayor James Cahill failed to take "appropriate remedial action," when it was brought to his attention by the police union.

    Last January, in his sixteenth year on the police force, Steven Middleton, an African-American officer who lives in the city, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Eight years ago, she was the new kid on the block at the city council.  Now, Councilwoman Elizabeth Garlatti is poised to become the most senior member on the body if she can win re-election this November.

    The city's Democratic Party organization announced yesterday that Garlatti will be seeking a third term on the city council, according to a report on Patch.com.

  • Photo Credit: My.Opera.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - At Wednesday's Council meeting, New Brunswick City Councilman Kevin Egan said he was told that a New Brunswick police vehicle may have been involved in a drug crime charged to Andrew Ferrazzoli, 51, of Piscataway.

    Ferrazzoli worked in the police department as a "services office manager" and was in charge of the department's vehicle maintenance and purchasing.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – In the latest scandal to rock the city’s embattled police department, Andrew Ferrazzoli, a civilian employee of the NBPD, quietly resigned two weeks ago following a drug charge he picked up in Franklin Township.

    As part of an operation spearheaded jointly by Somerset and Middlesex Counties dubbed “Operation: Corridor Crackdown,” over 30 people were arrested and charged with buying or selling cocaine along the Route 27 corridor on February 17.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Morris Kafka is out as President of New Brunswick's most active crime watch programs, and longtime 2nd Ward resident Maria Pellerano is in.  Tonight, she will preside over her first meeting as President, the first time in 18 years Kafka will not lead the group.

    The change comes amidst a crime wave plaguing the area served by the organization.  Two police-involved shootings also occurred in the ward during the past six months.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers Univ.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The NYPD utilized a secret unit of undercover officers, who used CIA training to infiltrate muslim communities up and down the East Coast of the United States.  But we already knew that.  We also knew that many of the officers on the special detail worked out of an apartment in downtown New Brunswick, until their cover was blown in June 2009.

  • Photo Credit: New Jersey Assembly

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Shiela Oliver, an Essex County politician who made history in 2010 when she was elected Speaker of the NJ General Assembly, is the first African-American woman to hold the title.

    And tonight she'll be speaking at the New Brunswick Free Public Library, in honor of Black History Month.

    The event starts at 7pm in the Carl Valenti Community Room.  It is free and open to the public.

  • Photo Credit: Mike Shanahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Newark Star-Ledger reported that over 70 people protested in cold weather against the latest accusations of police brutality against the New Brunswick Police Department.

    Another protest held later in the week drew fifteen people during inclement weather.  The next protest is scheduled for Wednesday at 4:30pm, at the site where police shot Victor Rodriguez, a 19-year-old who may now be paralyzed.  His family said he had previously fired shots from a starter's pistol to scare away two unknown assailants.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    UPDATE: This story has been updated to include the identity of the victim, and further information on the shooting.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is once again investigating an incident where New Brunswick police fired their guns at people in the troubled Remsen Avenue neighborhood.  The latest victim, a 19-year-old man, was rushed to a hospital where he is currently undergoing treatment.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - It took authorities years to realize that dozens of files containing complaints lodged by citizens against NBPD officers had gone missing.  Ultimately, Sgt. Richard Rowe, who ran the Internal Affairs division from 2003 to 2007, was blamed for the problem.

    Authorities also alledge he tampered with the files and failed to fully investigate 81 of the complaints against his fellow officers, leaving them open indefinitely.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: News12 New Jersey

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Leonel Lopez Hernandez was just 26 years old when he was fatally struck in a hit and run by a Toyota 4Runner SUV near the intersection of Georges Road and South Talmadge Street.

    He leaves behind a pregnant 24-year-old wife and two young children.  Hernandez was employed at Bristol-Myers-Squibb's facility in New Brunswick and was on his way home from work when he was hit shortly before 11pm Wednesday evening.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers-Camden

    CAMDEN, NJ - In a surprising move, a committee appointed by Governor Christie recommended that Rutgers University's Camden campus and law school be handed over to Glasboro, NJ's Rowan University.

    The 5-member University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Sol J. Barber, also supported the already-proposed merger of parts of UMDNJ, including the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey into the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - January 17 was a sad day for the city of New Brunswick.  It was the day Bobby Albert might have shut down the Court Tavern for the last time.  Albert has yet to spell out exactly why he closed up shop, but the historic venue has not opened for business since.

    Once part of a thriving underground music scene in New Brunswick, the Court Tavern became one-of-a-kind as other clubs in the city shut down.  Venues like the Roxy, Budapest, Patrixx, and The Melody Bar each closed their doors years ago.

    (Music)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city's famous mobile food trucks, known here and across the world for their "fat sandwiches" may soon be facing removal from campus soon under a proposal being implemented by Rutgers University's Department of Transporation Services (RUDOTS).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - City Councilman Kevin Egan indicated it is unlikely a city school never replaced after its demolition almost seven years ago will be built in 2012, at the Council's December 28 meeting.

    Egan, who also serves on New Jersey's School Development Authority, blamed "budgetary issues" for the failure to construct a new building to replace the A.C. Redshaw Elementary School on Livingston Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: News12 New Jersey

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - It appears two people were murdered in two crime hotspots within 10 hours of one another the night of January 9.

    Oswaldo Lozaro, 21, died from gunshot wounds sustained near the intersection of Louis and Somerset Streets in the Fifth Ward at 8:32 pm.  Mr. Lozaro was a city resident, according to a report on New Brunswick's Patch.com.  He died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital shortly before 10pm.

  • Photo Credit: DEVCO

    HIGH ATOP NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The newest and tallest highrise in New Brunswick is looking for residents, so long as they don't make either too much or not enough money.

    The building's residential portion, marketed as "The Vue," offers 150 apartments, both 1 and 2 bedroom-units, on floors 9 thru 20 of the skyscraper.  The units will be managed by Philadelphia-based Pennrose Properties.  Additionally, floors 21 to 23 consist of 42 condominiums with similar floorplans that will be constructed with superior materials.

  • Photo Credit: Charles Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After two public auctions, the city has sold the debts on 749 properties to investors in the form of tax sale certificates, according to the city's Finance Director.  And that figure marks a 20% increase over last year's number.

    Mayor James Cahill's office has not responded to several requests for comment on the increase.

  • Photo Credit: Gideon Weisberg

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - This week, Mayor James Cahill re-appointed 27 individuals to continue in their volunteer positions on various city boards & commissions, naming only eleven new board members, the vast majority of which were appointed to the Senior Citizen Advisory Council.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    BRONX, NY - Following today's huge victory over Iowa State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano declared, " Eric! Eric, this one's for you!" referring to the University football player from Avenel, NJ paralyzed last October, Eric LeGrand.

    Just one day earlier, the Men's Basketball team scored a huge win of their own, defeating the Florida Gators, ranked tenth in the nation, in double overtime at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A 41-year-old city man was seriously injured in a shooting on Monday afternoon at the Brunswick Arms Apartment building.

    According to James Queally's article on NJ.com, police said the shooting occurred at about 4:45pm and was related to a domestic dispute.

    NBPD Sgt. Mark Pappas told NJ.com that the victim was being treated for life-threatening injuries at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan and Warden Edwin Cicchi announced second-degree sexual assault charges against the county jail's assistant director Derick Stevens on December 22.

    Authorities say that Stevens, a resident of Burlington Township, had sex with a 21-year-old female inmate in the year in September or October of 2000.

    They also say he attempted to bribe the woman not to talk to investigators about the incident on December 5, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Anatas Entchev

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The owner of a Geographic Information System (GIS) company based in downtown New Brunswick is able to spend Christmas with his family after he and his son were detained by federal immigration authorities for over two months.