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: 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)
  • Photo Credit:

    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.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Jack Klugman, famous for his roles in Quincy M.E. and The Odd Couple, is the last living cast member of the 1957 film, "Twelve Angry Men," according to a report on NJ.com.

    He will once again play Juror No. 9 at the George Street Playhouse's theatrical version of the classic.  The show will run from March 13 to April 8, according to the report.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University's administration appears poised to go to war with unions representing their faculty and staff.  In a surprising move this month, the University's Board of Governors  in effect voted to punish unionized workers by granting raises and  bonuses to non-union employees only this year.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Like it or not, New Brunswick's Congressman will most likely be a Democrat for much, if not all, of the next 10 years.

    A commission charged with re-drawing New Jersey's thirteen Congressional districts into just twelve decided to go with the Republican team's proposal in a 7-6 vote this morning at the Heldrich Hotel in downtown New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    UPDATE: New video of Bill Bray and Tormel Pittman's shouting match is below.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Wednesday, the City of New Brunswick released the only video of the December 7 public shouting match between city activist Tormel Pittman, and Bill Bray, the Mayor's spokesman who left the administration two days later.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - One man can make a difference.  His name is Charlie Renda.

    When the City Council introduced a new law to ban bicycles from all city sidewalks in September, cyclists including Mr. Renda spoke out against the measure.  The Council tabled the law, and the city's administration responded with a new proposal that was much more comprehensive, but still included the same steep penalties for violators.

  • Photo Credit: Governor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - As Governor Christie prepares to embark on the second half of his four-year term, some of his closest cabinet members have been leaving the administration.

    On Thursday, it was announced that Richard Bagger, Christie's Chief of Staff since he took office, will be resigning his position and taking a job as a senior vice president at CelGene Corp., a multinational biopharmaceutical company based in Summit.

  • Photo Credit: Twitter

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Employees of the city's Department of Planning, Economic & Community Development have taken over one of former public information officer Bill Bray's duties.

    Kyle Kirkpatrick and Department Director Glenn Patterson have been sharing the responsibility of managing the city's Twitter account since Bray's departure nearly two weeks ago.  They even went so far as to change the city's handle on the popular social media service.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The City Council has been trying to re-institute a bicycle ban on city sidewalks ever since they realized that they repealed the 100-year-old provision accidentally last October.

    Tonight, it appears likely they will approve a much broader law that will, among other things, institute the ban on every city sidewalk, with the exception of "multi-use paths" along Routes 18 & 27.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit:

    PISCATAWAY, NJ - In October 2010, Eric LeGrand sufferred a career-ending injury that many thought would leave him paralyzed for life.  A year later, his triumphant return was voted the best moment of 2011 in all of sports.

    On a surprisingly snowy Halloween 2011 at Rutgers Stadium, he led his former teammates out of the tunnel and onto the field for an epic battle with the West Virginia Mountaineers.  Rutgers kept the game close until the end, even taking a lead into the fourth quarter, but the main attraction that day was LeGrand's return.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex Co. Prosecutor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The New Brunswick High School teacher who plead guilty to sexual misconduct and sexual assault of two girls he supervised as a private karate instructor was sentenced three years in prison Monday.

    Joel Levy, 44, will also have to register as a sex offender and will no longer be allowed to be a public school teacher in New Jersey.  He was also placed under parole supervision for life, according to a report on MyCentralJersey.com.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Community College

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Asbury Park Press' Capitol Quickies blog reported that Governor Christie visited the New Brunswick home of Frank Deiner, Jr. for a "conversation with taxpayers about ending payouts to retiring public employees for unused sick days."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ - Another one bites the dust.  William Owen Jr. resigned his position heading the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, following the university's board of trustees meeting, where no signal was given of his departure.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Newark Star-Ledger's Tom Haydon is reporting that Carlos Fernandez, age 20, has been arrested and charged with starting a fire on Friday that damaged three buildings on Somerset Street.

    The fire started shortly before 4pm at 272 Somerset Street, a boarded-up home in the city's Fifth Ward.  The blaze spread to buildings on either side, seriously damaging the law office of Alexander Takacs at 270 Somerset Street and a private residence at 272 Somerset Street.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Once again, New Brunswick finds itself at the center of the biggest political battle in the state.

    In the same luxury hotel where partisans fought over which towns would be grouped with each other in districts for state-level elections, a new group with a similar charge will determine the boundaries of New Jersey's 12 federal election districts.  In 2012, each district will hold an election to send one representative to the US Congress.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A whopping 1,500+ properties  in the City of New Brunswick were listed for an upcoming tax sale in the legal notices of the December 11 issue of the Home News Tribune.

    In New Jersey, municipalities are required to schedule all delinquent properties for an auction of the lien.  Investors can buy the liens on properties that do not settle up with the city in an auction scheduled for December 21.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Shortly before 4pm today, a fire broke out in the city's Fifth Ward on Somerset Street, between James and Alexander Streets.

    NBC4, whose news helicopter hovered overhead, said there were no reported injuries shortly after 6pm.

    Three homes were damaged: 268, 270, and 272 Somerset Street, according to Patch.com.  Fire departments from surrounding communities responded as well as the New Brunswick Fire Department.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Rutgers University English Department

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A particularly well-written letter to the editor published in Tuesday's Daily Targum perhaps revealed the latest racial discrimination scandal at Rutgers University.

    The letter alledges that an unnamed "white doctoral student" who also serves as an instructor in the English Department sent an invitation to the white students in her class for a balls-to-the-wall celebration of racist culture, complete with a screening of "Song of the South" and maybe even some "watermillyum" (watermelon).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - One man died last night in a fire at 204 Easton Avenue, near the intersection with Courtlandt Street.   The two-alarm blaze engulfed a two-family house next to Knights Deli, a convenience store in the heart of the Sixth Ward student neighborhood.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan has called for a special grand jury to hear the case against two New Brunswick police involved in the shooting death of Barry Deloatch on September 22.

    According to a report by Bob Makin of the Home News Tribune, the jury will hear the case on consecutive days to "minimize any unnecessary outside influences on the jury or the witnesses who appear before it."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ - The latest media outlet to conduct an analysis of Rutgers Athletic Department has found the same thing everyone here already knew: the University overestimated future attendance at football games to justify the $102M expansion of Rutgers Stadium.