Charlie Kratovil

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

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On August 14, outside the Key Food supermarket, cops arrested a woman from North Brunswick after searching a vehicle with several smashed windows.

    More than a half-dozen officers were seen questioning a pair of young people, and aggressively searching damaged vehicle.

    It wasn't totally clear what was going on, but apparently it all began with "reports of gunshots and a fleeing vehicle," according to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—An emergency medical technician was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after an August 17 incident in Sayreville, according to authorities.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced the arrest in a statement that included a photo of the accused, Christopher P. McHugh, a resident of the Parlin section of Sayreville.

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    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—The state's sixth-largest municipality nearly passed a measure that banned residential rentals less than 30 days in an apparent attempt to halt private citizens from renting out rooms using websites like Airbnb.

    The Woodbridge Township Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance on "first reading," scheduling the final reading and public hearing on the proposal for August 9.

    But after a journalist reached out to the Township and to Airbnb, the ordinance was pulled from the Council's agenda 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On August 7, a Rutgers University police officer arrested a man and a woman "on charges of lewdness, trespassing, and engaging in an act of prostitution," according to the response to a public information request.

    Both of the people arrested, a 45-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man, hail from New Brunswick.  They were both released "on their own recognizance."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—​On August 17, a Perth Amboy man admitted to fatally stabbing another city resident in October 2014, and agreed to a plea deal that will likely put him behind bars for three decades. 

    Wilbert Hernandez, age 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, admitting he "fatally stabbed" 35-year-old Ramon Lugo on October 14, 2014, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating an incident where two people were gunned down outside of a convenience store on Throop Avenue on August 22.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) announced that a 43-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, both from New Brunswick, had been critically injured in the shooting, which occurred around 9pm.

    The man was shot in the lower back and the young woman shot in the chest, according to the statement.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Most of the county's voters will have a real choice in this November's round of school board elections, according to petitions filed with the County Clerk's Office.

    In addition to electing the nation's next President on November 8, most New Jerseyans will also be asked who should serve on their school board.

    In fact, every Middlesex County municipality except New Brunswick will hold school elections that day.  Hub City is one of the few communities in the state that hold its school elections in April.

  • Photo Credit: SCPO

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ--An investigation by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department has yielded two arrests in an alleged credit card scheme.

    A 37-year-old Perth Amboy woman "fraudulently credited numerous credit cards belonging to relatives and friends," according to Somerset County authorities.

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    TRENTON, NJ—It's been hard to keep track of when Perth Amboy has been planning to hold its next school board election, as warring factions within the Bay City fought over the election date during a rollercoaster of a year.

    At several points in 2016, Perth Amboy's school district looked like it was going to be among the select few communities in the state with April school elections.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At some point on Thursday, August 10, somewhere on a three-block stretch of Sandford Street, city police arrested 32-year-old New Brunswick resident Jamaal Edwards on multiple charges.

    According to New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) spokesperson Captain JT Miller, the arrest was "in regards to the theft of a motor vehicle on Somerset Street."

    Police pursued Edwards in a "high-speed chase," according to one source, and it's not clear how the pursuit came to an end.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    MONROE, NJ—At about 10am on August 10, a 2-year-old developmentally disabled girl was found in the shoulder of a busy road by a "good samaritan," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    She had apparently wandered away from the Remsterville Learning Center, located on Prospect Plains Road in Monroe.

  • Photo Credit: DEA

    EDISON,  NJ—Emile Constable Jr., a 25-year-old resident of Edison was indicted by a grand jury sitting in New Brunswick for his role in distributing heroin that killed another man, according to prosecutors.

    Prosecutors say that the man sold 10 one-gram bags of heroin to the dead man, identified as 23-year-old Edison resident Aniq Ali in the first of two press releases issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) on the subject.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (8/19): New Brunswick Today has learned the identity of the deceased man, James M. Wittkopp.  The MCPO did not respond to our request to confirm this.

    SPOTSWOOD, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced that a man "sustained major burns in a car fire" on August 8.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 52-year-old plumber, and relative to several prominent private landlords in New Brunswick, has been arrested on theft charges, but what he allegedly stole might surprise you.

    On August 5, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced that Fady Chedid had been charged with the theft of a century-old house in the Sixth Ward of New Brunswick.

    Chedid faces two counts of theft and spent four nights in county jail, with a $50,000 bail.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A gated community in the city's Fourth Ward was the scene of a stabbing that went unpublicized by the city's police department.

    A 16-year-old was injured in the incident, which occurred at around midnight on the evening of Friday, August 5 somewhere inside the gates of the Hampton Club.

    Sources told New Brunswick Today that the stabbing took place in the clubhouse within the 312-unit condominium complex, but police did not immediately confirm the exact location.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A police SUV driven by an officer with just over a year on the job was struck by a Hyundai Sonata driven by a 23-year-old Lawrenceville man shortly before 1am on July 3, according to a police report.

    The crash, which occurred at the corner of Jones Avenue and Seaman Street caused "major damage" to both vehicles and sent New Brunswick police officer Eric Martinez to the hospital.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After less than 17 months in operation, the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) will close the childcare center it opened inside the Tabernacle Baptist Church on George Street.

    Calling it a "difficult decision" to close the facility, the social services non-profit said that "despite widespread promotion of the program... PRAB was unsuccessful in meeting the enrollement to ensure program viability."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    TOMS RIVER, NJ—A Thurday evening crash that claimed the life of a 26-year-old motorcyclist in Toms River was the first in a flurry of fatal crashes throughout Central New Jersey.

    According to published reports, Zachary Kane died in the hospital following the crash that ocurred at 10:14pm on August 4.

    All told, at least six men and one woman died in crashes during a four-day period in Central Jersey.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Somewhere on Remsen Avenue, city police were investigating a domestic violence assault involving "an edged weapon" starting at 11:50am on Sunday, August 7.

    But that was about all they were willing to say about the incident, in addition to confirming that an unidentified suspect was "apprehended," and that the unidentified victim "sustained injuries that were not life-threatening."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    EDISON, NJ--On August 2, retired Edison Police Department (EPD) Captain Natale Fresco pled guilty to a third-degree charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with charges he was working a private job while using up his remaining sick days before quitting the police job.

    They are two things that many police officers do--working side jobs, and using up weeks or months worth of sick time on their way out the door.  But when the two practices are simultaneous, it's illegal, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

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    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 20-year-old resident of South Adelaide Avenue was arrested and charged with starting the fire that damaged the three-floor rooming house where he lived.

    One resident told NBToday that Michael Henderson, the young man charged with starting the blaze, had moved into the home about two months prior.

    According to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, Henderson was charged with a second degree count of aggravated arson.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating what residents believe to be a stabbing near Bergen Court, in one of the city's public housing projects on July 26.

    According to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD), a 28-year-old man from Bound Brook "sustained non-life threatening injury to his lower back from a cutting instrument" at about 3:27pm.

    Police said that the victim was transported from the Schwartz-Robeson public housing complex to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The name Diahlo Grant is still ringing out across the New Brunswick and Franklin communities, more than three months after his death at the hands of police officers.

    Grant's family members, local community leaders, and other concerned residents took to the streets twice in July to raise awareness about the case.

    The notoriously secretive Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), and its controversial leader Andrew Carey, are in charge of investigating Grant's death.

  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In a disturbing display of physical aggression by a Rutgers University staff electrician, a grown man ran towards a college student, grabbing him and wrapping his arm around the student's neck at the school's Board of Governors meeting on July 20.

    The powerful 15-member board was about to vote on a 1.7% increase in tuition, one that the school had not publicized, leaving students and parents to wonder exactly how much of an increase was on the way.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In just nine months, the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) issued more than 150 "improper parking fines" totalling $6,300 to the low-income tenants in its oldest housing project.

    In a scheme uncovered by New Brunswick Today, the city's public housing agency was, more often than not, charging double the amount allowed under tenant leases.

    All of the violations were issued to tenants in the 260-unit Schwartz Homes and Robeson Village public housing complex in the city's Fourth Ward.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Andrew Carey was not happy to run into a reporter, especially this one, on June 16.

    Armed with a digital camera, New Brunswick Today was actively recording Carey's walk down College Avenue to his illegally-parked, county-owned sport utility vehicle.

    This reporter asked the county's top law enforcement officer (LEO) if he had any response to NBToday's coverage of his own financial disclosure forms.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ—Two people died when a vehicle that may have been racing on Route 18 lost control, and crashed into the Raritan River near the Northeast Corridor railroad viaduct on July 25.

    The crash happened at about 12:56am, just across the highway from the worldwide headquarters of Johnson & Johnson.

    Shortly thereafter, ambulances and firefighters were looking for the vehicle in the woods between the highway and the river, according to emergency radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police detectives are investigating an "aggravated assault" that allegedly occurred on July 23 at a house party on Huntington Street, according to a crime alert issued by Rutgers University.

    Around 11pm, a fight broke out at the party, which was held inside a residence near Buccleuch Park, St. Peter's University Hospital, and the Bank of America on Easton Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—According to 48-year-old comedian Carlo Bellario, he was just an actor filming an independent movie and holding a harmless prop.

    The plot of the movie was fictional: "A group of DEA agents go undercover as security for a city casino where they uncover ties between Colombian drug dealers and an underground narcotics operation by casino security."

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EXIT 12, NJ—During the early morning hours of July 18, police found a parked car on or near the New Jersey Turnpike that contained the body of Pablo Caamano, a 33-year-old man from Bayonne who authorities say had been stabbed to death by a woman that he knew.

    Authorities believe that 32-year-old Amarlis Calderon, a pedestrian who Caamano had picked up in Woodbridge, was responsible for the murder.

  • Photo Credit: Jason Liebman

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of the city's nine Board of Education members abruptly resigned on July 19, taking some observers by surprise.

    Franchesca Fowler, an attorney first appointed to the board in May 2012, announced her resignation from the board and left within the first few minutes of their public meeting.

    "With a heavy heart today, I am resigning from the Board of Education. I want to thank my fellow board members for their guidance and support in my decision to resign," began Fowler.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (7/26): NBPD announced that it identified and arrested three suspects in this case, including the two men who allegedly robbed the victim and "the driver of the getaway vehicle."

    Dauri Cabrera, a 19-year-old man from New Brunswick, was arrested over the weekend of July 23 and charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman affiliated with Rutgers University suffered "minor injuries" when she refused to comply with an armed robber who approached her on Comstock Street, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) are now investigating the incident, along with another knifepoint robbery that occurred just a few minutes later on the other side of the city.

  • Photo Credit: CBS New York

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A downtown burglary that occurred in broad daylight on July 18 is actually at least the fourth burglary to take place at a Rutgers building during a three-week period.

    All four burglary cases are listed as "Open/Pending" in the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) daily crime and fire safety log.

  • Photo Credit: UHaul

    EDISON, NJ--A 57-year-old Pennsylvania man was charged with "death by auto" for causing the death of an Edison resident on April 5, according to a press release from the ​Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    The announcement came on July 13, more than three months after the three-vehicle crash that killed 33-year-old Marcus Scroggins.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two city employees were arrested on charges of "theft by extortion" on the morning of July 19, according to a press release from the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    Tyrone Brown, age 46, and Traquan Newsom, age 31, have been suspended from their jobs as sanitation workers within the city's Department of Public Works, according to the release.

    In a bizarre incident on July 18, the two men allegedly stole three bottles of water from the Gaby's Bakery location on Joyce Kilmer Avenue at about 9:10am.

  • Photo Credit: Sig Sauer

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 15, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the police department's purchase of 170 handguns.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) was authorized to spend up to $46,930 on the weapons, which are being purchased from Atlantic Tactical, Inc., a Franklin-based company that also provides police uniforms.

    "It's to replace all of the sidearms that the officers carry today," said Captain JT Miller, who said the department will get a credit for trading in their current guns.

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    DUNELLEN, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) has taken over an investigation into a drive-by shooting that injured two men at about 6:30pm on July 10.

    The men were gunned down outside of the "Arts Annex," a rental hall that once served as a local Elks lodge in Dunellen, located at the intersection of North Washington Avenue and Front Street.

    The shooter or shooters remain on the loose, while the victims were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Benjamin S. Bucca, a New Brunswick Democrat, was recently nominated by Republican Governor Christopher J. Christie to be a Superior Court judge, despite a pattern of not recognizing when he has a conflict of interest.

    If approved by the State Senate Judiciary Committee, and the full State Senate, Bucca would go from being a local land use lawyer who just lost most of his public pension, to securing a seven-year term for the $165,000 per year judge job.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 12, the city's Planning Board is set to hear a presentation on the government's plans to redevelop the Ferren Mall and parking garage, which currently occupies two of the prime blocks of real estate in the Hub City's downtown.

    The meeting will be held at 7:30pm on the top floor of City Hall in New Brunswick, and members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—About five hours after the city's official fireworks celebration came to an end, gunfire rang out just a few blocks away, leaving one man injured from broken glass.

    Police confirmed that "gunshots were fired" on July 4 at approximately 2:30 am in the area of Building 3 at the New Brunswick Apartments.

    Tabernacle Way separates the apartments from the Riverside public housing complex in the city's First Ward.

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    SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—A teacher who previously taught in Sayreville before joining the staff at South Plainfield High School was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child on June 27, according to authorities.

  • Photo Credit: DEVCO

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—James Cahill still has two and a half years left in his unprecedented seventh term as Mayor, but he is hoping to have a big announcement soon regarding one of the largest redevelopment projects in the city's history.

    Ferren Mall, the publicly-owned, contaminated, and abandoned mall and parking deck has sat vacant for years while the powers that be have attempted to recruit investors and potential office tenants.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Breaking from his previous practices, the spokesman for the city's police deparment has refused to identify the perpetrator of an apparent domestic violence assault on June 26.

    New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller confirmed that there was indeed an assault that night at approximately 11:30pm.  But he said little else about the incident, even though the police were involved.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ-- Middlesex County's prosecutor Andrew Carey announced the arrest of a man who allegedly made an online threat "to destroy the Perth Amboy police headquarters" on June 21.

    Rolando Medina, a 30-year-old resident of the Bay City, was arrested and held on $2,500 bail, according to authorities.  He faces a charge of "cyber harassment."

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ--Local police credited a bystander and two of their own officers with "taking quick actions to save a 3 year old from drowning," according to a Nixle alert issued by the South Brunswick Police Department (SBPD).

    The incident occurred at about 6:45pm on June 19, and involved a three-year-old boy from East Brunswick who nearly drowned after falling to the bottom of an in-ground pool behind a residence on Route 1 near Whispering Woods Boulevard.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    EDISON, NJ—Police are searching for a "gunman" wanted in connection with the shooting of a 29-year-old man at about 12:45am on June 21, according to a press release from the Edison Police Department (EPD).

    The incident occurred in the parking lot outside the Kilmer Homes Apartments, a new affordable housing complex that opened in South Edison last year.

    A spokesperson for the Township confirmed that police were still searching for the gunman as of June 28, one week after the shooting.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 25, more than 100 community members marched in solidarity with the people of one of Mexico's poorest states, Oaxaca, following a deadly police crackdown, the latest conflict between the federal government and the state's teachers.

    Teresa Vivar, the leader of Lazos America Unida and one of the march's organziers, said she is concerned for the people of Oaxaca, which is her homeland, and that of many other New Brunswickers.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a double-stabbing that injured one man and a 17-year-old juvenile on June 23.

    The incident occurred at about 9pm inside a home on Comstock Street, but cops refuse to identify the victims, who are also suspects because they allegedly stabbed one another.

    "The identity of the second individual is being withheld as its release could compromise the identity of the juvenile," said New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The poorly-worded announcement of a police training exercise was cause for brief but severe alarm on the part of the campus community thanks to a frightening text message sent en masse by the university.

    "Armed suspect in area of alexander library," the strange message read.  "Seek a safe space and shield/secure your location TEST TEST."

    It wasn't until almost ten minutes later that the university corrected the record, utilizing two follow-up messages in an attempt to clear up the confusion.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Elaine Flynn, an Old Bridge resident serving in her fifth term as the elected Middlesex County Clerk, will be speaking at the community room of the city's public library, located at 60 Livingston Ave., on June 22 at 5pm.

    "The meeting will commence with a lecture by Elaine Flynn, Middlesex County Clerk," reads an announcement from the Friends of the Public Library.  The remarks will focus on the topic, “Elections: The Importance of Your Vote.”

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (7/1): SBPD produced the crash report identifying the victim as Denise Phipps of Monmouth Junction, and the driver as Robert Owens IV of Piscataway.

    SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ--Local police used their Nixle emergency alert system to inform the public of an fatal crash that occurred on Route 1 on the night of June 16.

  • Photo Credit: ESPN

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--On April 22, Rutgers quietly paid $300,000 in funds obtained from students and taxpayers to settle a federal lawsuit filed against it, and several of its employees, back in December 2013.

    The lawsuit was brought by Derrick Randall, a learning disabled basketball player who claimed that the university's former head basketball coach "chronically and heinously targeted and abused [him], both physically and psychologically."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ--Score one for the Bay City's embattled police department.

    ​Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, its top law enforcement official credited the Perth Amboy Police Department (PAPD) with initiating an investigation that led to 24 arrests.

  • Photo Credit: BGIA

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city government renewed two contracts with its insurance brokers, Aetna and Cigna, and the two brokers who manage the deal, including one who recently changed their name and another known for frequently donating to Democrats.

    Business & Government Insurance Agency (BGIA), and Public Synergies Group were the brokers awarded contract renewals at the June 1 City Council meeting.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ--​Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced on June 13 that a 20-year-old man had been arrested and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his father three days earlier.

    Vishal Shah, age 20, also faces charges of unlawful possession of the weapon, and hindering his own apprehension by "hiding the gun that was used," according to Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) statement.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--New Jersey Blood Services and its parent organization, New York Blood Center (NYBC), declared a "Blood Emergency" on June 15, encouraging the community to donate blood and organize blood drives.

    "The blood supply to our communities has reached a critically low level, with under a two-day supply of O negative, B negative, and A negative," reads a press release issued by the independent agency.

  • Photo Credit: MCIA

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--On May 5, the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a $1.49 million capital expenditure for improving the county's four golf courses.

    The Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA), which is currently being run by consultant Ralph Albanir, is responsible for the public golf courses in East Brunswick, Plainsboro, and Piscataway.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—The county's Medical Examiner has not finished its autopsy of 28-year-old Edison resident Daniel Nagahama, who passed away on June 2 after an altercation with borough police.

    Nagahama was hospitalized and died, "hours after he struggled with police who revived him when they found him laying on a street in Highland Park," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On May 18, a longtime city resident who often brings safety complaints to the New Brunswick City Council credited the city's Business Administrator for his quick and personal response to a dangerous situation.

    Danielle Moore said she left early from the February 3 Council meeting, where she had just raised concerns about hanging wires left unchecked around the Hub City, only to find a bunch of dangling utility wires after outside her home on Rutgers Street.

  • Photo Credit: Schibell, Mennie & Kentos

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—People make false statements to police on a daily basis, but they are rarely indicted for them.

    Though authorities often have to sift through false statements from witnesses, suspects, and alleged victims--sometimes causing harm to innocent people who are questioned, charged, and even imprisoned--there is one factor that will almost certainly improve the chances that someone's lies to police will result in criminal consequences: lying about a law enforcement officer.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    MONROE, NJ—A Monroe Township man was charged with attempted murder and a slew of other charges after an incident at his home on May 20 drew a response from more than 20 police officers from the county's Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

    Robert A. Witkowski, age 47, surrendered to police at about 12:55pm, approximately three hours after authorities were first called to the home, "following negotiations with SORT," according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Toms River PD

    TOMS RIVER, NJ--Local police are looking to apprehend a 24-year-old man with ties to New Brunswick for his alleged role in an assault and robbery in Toms River.

    This comes after cops arrested three others, including a Toms River North High School football player, in connection with the violent crime.

    It all started around 4pm on June 1, when a 23-year-old man was reportedly assaulted and robbed in the Winteringham Village neighborhood, according to police.

  • Photo Credit: David Cosgrove

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—When President Barack Obama visited Rutgers University on May 15 to address this year's graduating senior class, he re-ignited a divisive debate related to the graudation ceremony held in 2014.

    Two years before Obama found himself on the banks of the old Raritan, a group of student, faculty, and community activists railed against the school's administration for hiring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to give that year's graduation speech.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police detectives are investigating a shooting that took place on June 5 on Harvey Street, but won't say if it's connected to another targeted shooting that occurred nearly six months prior on the same block.

    A reliable source told New Brunswick Today it was an ongoing intra-family dispute that led to the shooting, the same beef behind another shooting at the same spot, near the corner with French Street, on Christmas night.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--For the third straight election cycle, Hub City voters will not have a choice when it comes to who represents them in City Hall.

    That news comes the day of the primary election, which is also the deadline for Independent candidates for local office to file petitions to run.

    The last time the political machine faced a challenge in the city government elections was six years ago, when Patricia Bombelyn ran for Mayor along with two candidates for City Council in 2010.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The establishment forces in the Democrat Party prevailed in more ways than one on June 7.

    Hillary Clinton won the state's Democratic Presidential primary carrying more than 60% of the vote in Middlesex County, according to the latest results, and besting her opponent Bernie Sanders.

    The victory makes it increasingly likely that Clinton, a former US Senator and Secretary of State, will become the first woman to earn the nomination of a major political party for the country's highest office.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Voters in the state's June 7 primary elections will see only limited choices on their ballots, but with both of the nation's major political parties suffering from in-fighting, observers across the country will likely be watching how New Jerseyans vote.

    US Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the two Democrats competing for the chance to represent their party in the Presidential election, will each appear on the primary ballot here in New Jersey.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As the county's Sheriff seeks re-election to a third term, and multiple scandals descend upon on her administration, Republican voters will have a choice in the primary election to determine who will run againt her.

    As Democrat incumbent Mildred Scott runs unopposed in the June 7 primary election, two Republicans will face off for the chance to represent their party, and take her on in the general election.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It's hard to miss the Ferren Mall and Parking Garage, the largest vacant structure in all of downtown New Brunswick.

    The first half of the massive New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) project opened in the 1970's, and an adjoining portion, which included the "mall," opened in 1982.

    Now abandoned and contaminated, the site contains more than 1,200 empty parking spaces and about a dozen vacant storefronts and office spaces.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—On May 6, a grand jury sitting in New Brunswick indicted three officers in the Woodbridge Police Department for covering up the truth about a one-car crash caused by Officer Brian Joseph, one of the three to be indicted.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, two officers unsuccessfully tried to cover up the crash by "failing to file a report and changing computer records that had documented the crash."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A legendary Hub City establishment may be closing this summer, as the management of Tumulty's Pub prepares to sell the place to new owners outside of the family for the first time in history.

    Located at 361 George Street, the pub is one of the oldest businesses in the city, having been a longstanding fixture in downtown New Brunswick for more than 80 years.

  • Photo Credit: BIng Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 1, the City Council voted unanimously to approve a $19,822 contract with ATC Group Services, LLC, to monitor the air at the city's Water Treatment Plant while a cache of asbestos is removed.

    It marked the first time the public was made aware of the haven of asbestos that had been found tucked away deep inside the century-old facility.

  • Photo Credit: Dawud Naz Dockery

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hub City will be host an array of activities and excitement on Saturday, June 4, as the city's 41st Annual Hungarian Festival is held along Somerset and Plum Streets.

    The festivities begin at 11am and last all day.

    One of the largest festivals of in New Brunswick, and one of the only places where alcoholic beverages can be sold and consumed in public, the Hungarian Festival pays homage to the city's rich connection with the Eastern European nation.

  • Photo Credit: GoFundMe

    EDISON, NJ—Askari Moore had just turned eleven less than a month before his untimely death on May 20, when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Urviben Parikh in the parking lot of the Durham Woods apartments.

    Moore died from his injuries sufferred in the crash, which took place at approimately 6:41pm.

    The Lincoln Elementary School student left behind a loving mother, Shakera Moore, and a heartbroken community.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Officials confirmed that Candice Burgess, the Chief Warrant Officer at the embattled Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, has been suspended without pay.

    According to multiple sources, while inside her Livingston Avenue office, Burgess threw an object--possibly a pen--at a Sergeant in the department.

    Sheriff Mildred Scott confirmed the suspension on May 27, but it's not clear when the suspension started, or what the reason was for the suspension.

    "The suspension was for 6 days," said Scott.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the second straight year, Middlesex County's top law enforcement official has hid the fact that his wife works for a politically-connected law firm, omitting the employer's name from certified statements filed with the state.

    Andrew Carey was named the Prosecutor for Middlesex County in 2013 by Governor Chris Christie, whom he had worked under in the US Attorney's Office.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers University

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--In one of his final commencement addresses as US President, Barack Obama gave graduating students at Rutgers University advice for the future, and paid homage to the history of the 249-year-old university on May 15.

    "The truth is, Rutgers, I came here because you asked," said Obama, who cited a "three-year campaign" undertaken by students and university officials to convince him to visit the school in time for its 250th anniversary celebration.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The shakeup is almost completed, with one Edisonian being approved for a Superior Court Judgeship and another about to join the state legislature.

    The 18th Legislative District, which includes Edison, East Brunswick, Highland Park, Helmetta, Metuchen, South Plainfield, and South River, will have a new official representative starting on May 26.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A spokesperson for the federal agency that handles immigration enforcement confirmed they captured "two individuals" somewhere on Suydam Street.

    But the agency refused to confirm who was taken into custody or what they did wrong.

    At first, Alvin Philips, who works for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) declined to say what went down on the major thoroughfare at 6:00am on May 17.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—During an awkward meeting of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) board, its Chairman learned that a $70,000 agreement approved minutes earlier had not been reviewed by an attorney representing the NBHA's interests.

    NBHA attorney Joseph Manfredi admitted that the reason for the lack of attorney review was a conflict of interest because his law firm represents both of the public agencies involved in the deal.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city couple has been charged with desecration of human remains and hindering an investigation into the death of their newborn baby in a strange case that unfolded over several days in the Hub City.

    It's still not clear how the baby died, but authorities decided to file criminal charges against the parents, 34-year-old Jaciel Torres-Lopez, and 30-year-old Mercedes Sanchez-Torres.

  • Photo Credit: Chris Paladino

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On May 13, no one was injured in a blaze high atop one of two major new construction projects going up on the Rutgers University College Avenue campus.

    While workers were finishing the roof of the new classroom building at 6 Bishop Place, what was once the site of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS) when part of the roof caught fire.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A 17-year-old student was sentenced to 60 days in the county's Juvenile Detention Center, and two years on probation, for a violent attack that took place inside New Brunswick High School (NBHS) two months earlier.

    The March 10 attack was captured on in a cell phone video provided to a Spanish-language TV station, and posted online by New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit: ABC 7

    UPDATE (5/19): Authorities the identified the driver as 49-year-old Jeffrey W. Troxell of South Amboy.

    Troxell was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and two counts of eluding police.  His bail was set at $150,000.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--With the help of heavy machinery and a fire engine, a slew of city police undertook an excavation on May 17, drawing attention from neighbors and closing down a block of Remsen Avenue.

    Shortly before 7pm, the New Brunswick Fire Department's "Engine 11" was dispatched to 148 Remsen, according to emergency radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: HBO

    UPDATE: Rutgers University issued a statement announcing Pierce has declined to speak or accept the honorary degree "in order to assure that commencement 2016 will be a celebration of the accomplishments of our students free of distractions."

    "At the same time, we are pleased to announce that award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, and producer Soledad O’Brien will address the Class of 2016," reads the statement.

  • Photo Credit: Nick West

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A cartoonist and several New Brunswick Today journalists can now call some of their work "award winning," after the NJ Society of Professional Journalists (NJ-SPJ) announced the winners of its annual "Excellence in Journalism" contest on May 12.

    In total, this newspaper won six awards, including four first-place honors.  Matt Katz of public radio station WNYC earned the top honors, and the title "Journalist of the Year."

  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    UPDATE (5/14): Authorities said the suspect has surrendered on charges of attacking and severely beating a female student in New Brunswick last week.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On May 4, 37-year-old Michael P. Knight attacked a female Rutgers University student and tried to sexually assault her until bystanders intervened, according to the latest statement from law enforcement.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Three different law enforcement agencies are investigating a violent incident on the flagship campus of Rutgers University, according to a pair of crime alerts issued by Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD). 

    According to the alerts, a Rutgers-affiliated woman was the victim of an "aggravated assult" on May 4 at about 3:30am in the area of Van Dyck Hall, located on the campus' main academic quad: Voorhees Mall.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At her first meeting in charge of the powerful Board of Education (BOE), Emra Seawood declined to discuss the highly-anticipated results of testing for lead contamination in the drinking water at city schools.

    The results showed water fountains, kitchen sinks, and nurse's sinks were contaminated in six city schools, but that didn't stop the nine-member BOE from keeping it all secret during their May 3 meeting.

  • Photo Credit: Elijah's Promise

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Two of the major "social enterprise" programs sponsored by the Brunswick-based non-profit organization Elijah's Promise closed for good in February.

    The organization, which started as the city's only soup kitchen, had grown into much more over the years.

    The two projects to close, Better World Café and Better World Market, were both located outside of New Brunswick, in Highland Park and Franklin Township, respectively.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--New Brunswick police are still investigating a case that started with unidentified city officers pursuing a vehicle into North Brunswick on April 24. 

    According to New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller, at approximately 6:47pm, NBPD officers "apprehended two individuals after a brief vehicle pursuit into North Brunswick."

    "A handgun was recovered from the vehicle," said Miller who failed to identify the precise charges against the two suspects in the case.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    WEST ORANGE, NJ—The new organization created to function as the state's largest hospital chain is refusing to tell the public who serves on their Board of Trustees, but this newspaper has obtained a document identifying the initial 22 members.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—County officials have remained silent in the face of allegations that Undersheriff Kevin Harris told the Sheriff's Department's fugitive unit to "stand down" as they were about to execute an arrest warrant at his own home.

    Rumor has it that the incident surrounding the warrant, allegedly authorizing the arrest of a relative of Harris' with the same Piscataway address, also resulted in a new policy requiring supervisors to approve before officers work on "out-of-county" warrants.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City Council's most senior member will not be seeking re-election, and it appears the political establishment has already selected her replacement to run in this year's election.

    The Democratic party primary will be held on June 7, and there will be just three names on the ballot for the three offices.  Independent candidates have until that day to file petitions to run in the November election that will decide who takes office next year.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--City police are investigating an armed robbery on the streets of New Brunswick on April 15, but it was Rutgers University's Police Department that made the public aware of the crime just over an hour after it happened.

    "In this incident the victim... reported that he was walking on Handy Street when a small, dark colored SUV stopped across from him," reads the RUPD crime alert, which noted the incident took place at about 12:30am between Jones and Commercial Avenues.

  • Photo Credit: New Beginnings For New Brunswick Schools

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Three incumbent members of the city's school board each seeking three more years  in office were victorious in the low-turnout April 19 election, and voters once again approved the district's budget.

    Patricia Sadowski, Benito Ortiz, and Jennifer Shukaitis each got about 300 votes cast citywide, figures that were bolstered by relatively strong turnout in the two geographic areas that are strongholds for the city's political machine.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Voters will be able to cast votes for up to three candidates in the April 19 school board election, as well as decide whether or not to approve the school district's proposed budget.

    The voting will be the first of three elections scheduled for the Hub City this year, and only the third time voters will have a choice of candidates since the city switched to an elected school board.

  • Photo Credit: Molly O'Brien

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Under pressure from community advocates and the New Brunswick Today newspaper, school officials released attendance records to show the days and hours that one of its top employees worked.

    Peter Mangarella, the Director of School Security, was apparently away on vacation as a major controversy unfolded in his shop, after a 15-year-old was attacked by a fellow student at New Brunswick High School (NBHS).