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: 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.

    (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.

    (Police)
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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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A landlord who owns four properties in New Brunswick, and allegedly dealt cocaine to the city's Chief Housing Inspector, will continue to be a free man for the time being.

    For at least the fifth time in a year, the sentencing of Paul Cano III has been delayed.  Cano was busted in December 2013 along with longtime city inspector Michael Mahony, and later pled guilty to first-degree distribution of cocaine and possession of an assault rifle on March 23, 2015.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Unity Square Community Center on Remsen Avenue played host to a small candidate's forum on April 12, held with one week left before Hub City voters decide which three candidates to serve on the Board of Education.

    For the first time in the city's short history of school board elections, it was the first time such a forum was presented in English and Spanish.

  • Photo Credit: The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—For this first time in history, a sitting President of the United States of America will speak at the Rutgers University commencement ceremony, which commemorates the graduation of some 12,000 students at the school's football stadium.

    The distinction is an honor for the 249-year-old university that started in New Brunswick, as the current President typically only speaks at two to four such ceremonies each year, including at least one military academy, according to NJ.com.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On April 9, a 27-year-old man named Diahlo Grant became the second person to lose his life to gun violence in the Hub City this year.

    Authorities say Grant, who lived in the Somerest section of Franklin Township, was killed "during an exchange of gunfire" with Franklin Township police officers at approximately 1:31am near the border between the two towns.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Another city firefighter was arrested on April 8, according to New Brunswick Fire Department (NBFD) Director Robert Rawls.

    Richard Patterson, a 23-year veteran of the NBFD, is accused of "stealing $5,500 in bogus disability insurance claims," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    County prosecutor Andrew Carey announced on April 7 that four New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) employees were arrested on charges of conspiracy, bribery, and theft.

    The revelation means that a total of eleven men working for the authority have now been charged with crimes related to their office since 2010.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's free independent newspaper is going to be able to translate even more articles into Spanish and produce more high-quality bilingual videos, thanks to support from our readers and the Beacon Reader Foundation.

    For the second year in a row, New Brunswick Today (NBT) raised over $15,000 using the online crowdfunding platform Beacon Reader, while our "backers" earned souvenirs including NBT pins, subscriptions, t-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick firefighter is still on the job despite an out-of-state arrest for driving while intoxicated with two young children in his vehicle.

    The incident was first reported by a TV station in New York state, but weeks later City Hall confirmed that, even though the man arrested is the same Carmine Luizza who has been on the New Brunswick Fire Department (NBFD) since 2002, he's still working there.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County Freeholders and the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners have each taken actions this year to clear the way for a Philadelphia-based real estate company to sell much of the former county building, which re-opened as a luxury apartment building in 2003.

    But only one of the public entities admitted that was what it was doing after being questioned by New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police and county prosecutors say they have solved a March 7 murder, charging someone arrested "on unrelated charges" the following day with several serious crimes.

    Raymundo Jael Perez-Garcia, 23-year-old city man was arrested on March 8, just one day after he allegedly shot at three men, fatally wounding one of them, at the intersection of Townsend and Drift Streets.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As security in the city's school system comes under increased scrutiny in the wake of a highly-publicized violent attack inside New Brunswick High School (NBHS), one official has been conspicuously absent from the discussion.

    School district officials, and the public relations company they hired, have refused to disclose even the salary of Peter Managarella, who has served as the "Director of School Security" since September 2011.

  • Photo Credit: Molly O'Brien

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A tumultuous day for the city's Board of Education ended with more than 100 people attending their meeting, a rare occurence, and many more protesting out front of New Brunswick High School (NBHS). 

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    MILLTOWN, NJ--An 18-year-old Rutgers student was charged with assault after local police sought the public's help in identifying the suspect in a strange case.

    Cole Cadigan, who apparently played football for Wall Township High School, was caught on video allegedly throwing a large soda at an employee of the Taco Bell immediately after purchasing it at the store's drive-thru window.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    METUCHEN, NJ—On June 21, 2015, Middlesex County investigators determined that a teacher who lived on the St. Joseph's High School campus maintained child pornography on a computer.

    Ten days later, a New Brunswick City Councilman who had been the school's Principal for nine years, announced he would be "assuming a new role" at St. Joseph's.

  • Photo Credit: Hopeton Richards

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Five New Brunswick police officers were the guests of honor at the energetic Sunday morning service held at Promise Church of God on March 5.

    Captain Michael Bobadilla accepted a plaque from the church, and addressed the congregation, saying the city has come a long way during his time on the police force.

    "Thank you for putting your life on the line daily to protect and serve the residents of New Brunswick," reads the plaque.  "May God Bless and Keep You Safe."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—Though they have filed criminal charges against two officers for lying to cover up a single-car wreck involving another police officer, authorities have failing to make public the details of the incident or identify the officer involved.

  • Photo Credit: Molly O'Brien

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Board of Education rejected one of the five candidates that submitted petitions to run for seats on the board in the upcoming April 19 election.

    "Joel Martinez handed in a defective petition because half of the persons who signed were not registered voters. So he only had six valid signatures," said Richard Jannarone, Business Administrator for the district.

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    OLD BRIDGE, NJ--Ronald Franz led the Carteret Police Department for just over three weeks before was suspended without pay following a February 23 drunken driving arrest in Old Bridge.

    Officials confirmed Franz was fired in March, after local police filed an additional charge related to the one-car crash. 

    Franz did not last long in the job, having come out of retirement to take the position on February 1.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Disturbing videos circulated on social media and broadcast on Spanish language television have raised awareness of a violent incident that took place inside New Brunswick High School (NBHS).

    Oscar Aparicio, Jr., a freshman at NBHS, told New Brunswick Today he was assaulted shortly before noon on Thursday, March 10, in the hallways of the school by someone he barely knew.

    The 15-year-old city resident sufferred a fractured nose, a sprained shoulder, and also lost a tooth.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—Governor Chris Christie announced a new tentative agreement with the eleven unions representing NJTransit workers on March 11, but decided not to disclose the financial specifics of the deal.

    If approved by the unions involved, the new agreements will run through 2019, and serve to avert a strike that would have impacted commutes across the tri-state area.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers Athletics

    PISCATAWAY, NJ--Less than 24 hours after a season-ending 89-72 loss to Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, Rutgers has relieved Eddie Jordan of his head coaching duties.

    The decision did not come as a surprise, but it will come at a significant cost to the university, who will likely be paying Jordan a large sum not to work, on top of whatever they pay his replacement.

    Jordan's firing closes the book on a disappointing tenure when the Scarlet Knights went 29-67 in his three seasons at the helm.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) is now investigating a fatal shooting on Monday night that local authorities had not publicly addressed for nearly three days.

    Marcos Hernandez, a 33-year-old father from Passaic, passed away after being shot in the head at the intersection of Townsend and Drift Streets in the Fourth Ward on Monday, March 7.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City Council is expected to approve an ordinance for a new collective bargaining agreement with the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA) #17 union, which represents the city's firefighters.

    The contract calls for two retroactive raises, a 1.5% raise that goes back to July 2015, and 2% raise going back to January 1 of this year.

    It mirrors a deal recently approved for the FMBA local that represents firefighters that have been promoted to leadership positions in the department. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—First responders were dispatched to the corner of Townsend and Drift Streets at about 6:45pm on March 7 following reports of a shooting, according to emergency radio transmissions.

    Crowds formed around the Fourth Ward intersection where two people were apparently shot, according to witnesses who heard multiple shots fired, and then saw the two victims being loaded into the back of ambulances.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In a closed-door meeting, the Rutgers University Board of Governors gave President Robert Barchi a bonus, a retroactive raise, and a sweet new deal that could keep him on the university payroll well into 2018.

    Barchi, age 69, already earned $663,000 every year, $263,000 more than the President of the United States and almost four times as much as the state's Governor.

    He also gets a free house in Piscataway and a myriad of other perks.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An employee of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) was taken to a local hospital on March 3 after an altercation with the agency's Director of Operations Mark Roedelbronn.

    "Mark almost hit and choked one of the housing [employees]," said one source, describing the 18-employee agency as a "hostile work environment."

    Another source said that Roedelbronn lost his temper and screamed at the female employee multiple times, sticking his finger in her face, and slamming a file folder on her desk.

  • Photo Credit: Forwallpaper.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials repeatedly refused to answer questions about a firearm that former New Brunswick Police Director Joseph Catanese said was stolen from a parked car.

    As we reported, the former cop's gun was allegedly stolen during a six-hour period in June 2013, in between Catanese's time as New Brunswick's Police Director and Assistant City Attorney.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Leonard T. Bier might well be one of the most powerful people in New Jersey, but outside of the parking business and the legal field, he is not well-known.

    Formerly an attorney for Middlesex County, one could say that Bier, age 64, is in the prime of his public-sector career, holding down four public jobs where he often gets to call the shots. 

  • Photo Credit: Law Offices of James M. Harding LLC

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—James Harding has joined Richard Vietch as one of two municipal public defenders, after being approved by City Council on January 16. 

    Harding, a resident of Hillsborough Township who opened his own law practice on Morris Street in 2012, replaces the late James Rollyson, who passed away in 2015.

    Public defenders are not paid very much, and the work, representing the poor who can't afford their own lawyer, is not easy.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Five candidates, including three current Board of Education members hoping to keep their seats, have filed to run in the upcoming April 19 election.

    If all of the candidates' petitions are approved, it could the first time since in three years that there will be a contested election for any public office within the City of New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's new newly-created Parks and Gardens Commission will meet at City Hall for the first time on February 29 at 7pm.

    New Brunswick's City Council approved the first members of the commission on January 20.  The commission was created by an ordinance passed unanimously on September 2, and signed into law by Mayor James Cahill.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The seven-member board that controls the city's Housing Authority was unusually combative during a February 24 public meeting that was captured on video by New Brunswick Today.

    Members of the board repeatedly interrupted this reporter during the "public comment" section of the meeting, raising their voice at times, interrogating this newspaper's videographer, and attempting to pressure this reporter into naming an individual who may be living in public housing illegally.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Multiple people were beaten up by three men early Saturday morning near the intersection of Mine and Union Streets in the Sixth Ward, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The incident occurred on February 27 at approximately 3:30 AM, at the intersection of Mine Street and Union Street.

    The victims are "affiliated with the University," according to the alert, and they told police they were approached by three men while walking.  The alert did not say how many victims there were.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—The powers that be want to expand a landfill "vertically," in an effort to make the county's massive pile of garbage last ten years longer.

    Under the proposed amendment to the county's Solid Waste Management Plan, the Middlesex County landfill could rise to 220 feet above sea level, 55 feet higher than it stands today.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An abandoned and contaminated parking garage is one step closer to being cleaned up after the parking authority's board voted unanimously to approve a three-way agreement with the county government and a non-profit developer that often works with the NBPA.

    The agreement puts New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) in charge of supervising the county government's efforts to conduct required environmental remediation at the site of the Ferren Mall and Parking Deck.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) responded to the scene of a stabbing that occurred during a fight between five to seven individuals at 1am on February 21, and arrived to find two men "bleeding profusely," according to a department press release.

    The incident occurred outside the Holy Virgin Protection Church at 301 Handy Street, a Russian Orthodox house of worship in the city's Fourth Ward, near the Salvation Army between Joyce Kilmer Avenue and the railroad tracks.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--In what will be the fifth school board election in New Brunwick's history, voters may decide who is on the school board, or maybe not.

    It depends whether anyone decides to run against the three incumbents, who said they plan to run for election or re-election in the April 19 election.

    In order to run, school board members must get at least 10 signatures from registered voters in New Brunswick on a special candidate petition.  The deadline to submit petitions is 4pm on Monday, February 29.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Over the past two years, the city has seen a sharp increase in both assaults and robberies where the weapon used was a gun, according to State Police statistics.

    Violent crime continues to be a problem for the City of New Brunswick, according to residents, police radio transmissions, and new statistics released by the NJ State Police.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Daniel Munoz

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—New Jersey's top law enforcement official wants to keep police videos confidential, at the same time his office is funding the purchase of thousands of cameras to be worn by police across the state.

    On the campus of Rutgers University, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman took questions from the press and admitted that he wants most police videos to be kept secret from the press and the public while criminal cases proceed, and perhaps even after the cases have concluded. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Joseph Catanese, a former New Brunswick Police Director who is now a City Hall attorney, once left a loaded firearm in the glove box of his vehicle, and parked in a public garage for six hours, only to return and find the deadly weapon had been stolen, according to multiple sources.

    "Yeah that was when his gun was stolen from his car," said one law enforcement source familiar with the matter. "I believe it was in the glove box not correctly stored as the statute reads."

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The Rutgers Univeristy Police Department (RUPD) is investigating an "aggravated assault" reported one block away from campus shortly after midnight on Saturday, February 13.

    According to a university crime alert, the third one in less than a week, at approximately 12:30 AM, a man unaffiliated with the school was "struck" with a "blunt object" on Huntington Street between Sicard Street and College Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--City police are investigating an attempted armed robbery where a Rutgers man was injured just outside of downtown New Brunswick, according to a university crime alert.

    According to the alert, the victim was attacked at about 9:40pm on February 10 near the intersection of Neilsen Street and Morris Street, near the New Brunswick Apartments and the Riverside public housing neighborhood.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The managers of at least two stores on Easton Avenue experienced some very unexpected challenges in the span of three hours on February 9.

    "At approximately 3:59 pm officers responded to 70 Easton Avenue (Scissorhands Barber Shop) to investigate a disturbance," said Captain Joseph T. Miller in response to a question, and a subsequent public records request.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—More than 11 years after Hassan Bass was killed on a city street, the man accused and convicted of killing him is still fighting it in court.

    Prosecutors argued that Brian Fowlkes, 31 years old at the time, had shot Bass, 24, in the back of the head outside the Picken Chicken restaurant on George Street on May 22, 2004.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Executive Director of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) has ordered his staff to stop issuing "improper parking fines" in the Schwartz Homes and Robeson Village public housing neighborhoods.

    "I have directed [Schwartz-Robeson] staff and management to not issue any more improper parking fines until further notice," wrote Executive Director John Clarke in a February 4 email to New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Students, parents, and teachers at the Paul Robeson Community School are in for a major shake-up after this summer, when the school will be closed for renovations.

    Superintendent Aubrey Johnson announced that a two-year, state-financed renovation project on the school will be moving forward in a November 23 press release from the school district.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old city man is in stable condition after being stabbed multiple times by a Rutgers University student in a fight outside of a downtown bar, according to city police.

    In the same incident, which occurred shortly after last call, a 24-year-old woman from Spotswood was also injured after she was punched repeatedly by two student suspects.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    UPDATED: The final meeting of the year has been changed from December 30 to December 29, and the September 7 meeting was changed to September 6.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick City Council is scheduled to meet in public 25 times this year.  Anyone is welcome to attend and to speak at the meetings.

    The Council meetings are held on the top floor of City Hall, located at 78 Bayard Street in downtown, on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) has been charging their public housing tenants with $50 parking fines in a roundabout manner, writing the "tickets" up as "work orders."

    Though the only "work" being done by the agency is writing the ticket, the process enables the authority to tack expensive fines onto the subsidized rent of the tenants who reside there.

  • Photo Credit: Reader-submitted photo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As more than two feet of snow piled up in the Hub City over the weekend of January 23, the city was being led by an acting mayor.

    It was the largest single-storm snowfall in the recorded history of New Brunswick, with some 28 inches of precipitation reported.

    During the storm New Brunswick Today passed along complaints from our readers to City Hall, such as: "Between ward and powers street by the train tracks we need help so we can get bread and milk for the kids and there's other people need supplies too."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    EDISON, NJ—Freeholder H. James Polos said that the state's second most populous county used to be "maybe a machine," in his remarks at the Board of Chosen Freeholders' annual re-organization meeting on January 6.

    Polos, a former Mayor of Highland Park, has often been on the outside looking in at the Democratic Party's establishment.

    Yet despite the challenges he has faced, Polos has managed to stay on the Freeholder Board for 18 years.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) does not provide significant information about police actions to the public, but Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) does offer a daily police and fire log.

    The following blotter is based on RUPD's log, as well as press releases, public comments, and crime alerts from RUPD, NBPD, and other law enforcement agencies.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's fire officers and municipal workers will be getting raises, according to ordinances and resolutions approved by the City Council at their January 20 meeting.

    "We have negotiated some considerably significant givebacks in the health and welfar area, paritcuarly the prescription plan has been reconfigured," said Business Administrator Thomas Loughlin.

  • Photo Credit: Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Scott Campion, one of three public employees arrested in a 2013 NJ State Police takedown of a cocaine and weapons sales operation, resigned his job as a dispatcher at the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office on March 20, 2015.

    It was the second time he had resigned from the law enforcement agency, according to multiple sources.  The first time he left the department, he was forced to give up his badge and gun, after pointing that gun at a waitress in an Edison restaurant.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police and City Hall have confirmed rumors of a dead body found in a "wooded area off of Jersey Avenue near Comstock Street," after a video appeared on Facebook showing firefighters and police in the area.

    New Brunswick Today started asking questions after seeing the video on January 29, the same day police were asked to respond to the scene.

    According to New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller, police responded "to investigate the report of a deceased individual."

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ--The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating an on-campus assault and  robbery that took place at about 6:15pm on January 27, according to a crime alert issued four hours later.

    The incident involved a Rutgers-affiliated victim and four juvenile suspects according to the alert.  It occurred near the intersection of College Farm Road and Ag Extension Way, near the intersection with Route 1.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Rutgers police are investigating a "criminal sexual contact" incident that reportedly occurred on January 25 at about 5:00 PM on a Rutgers University bus traveling down George Street.

    According to a university crime alert issued eight hours later, the victim is "affiliated" with the university.  The victim "reported being touched on the thigh and buttocks while standing on a crowded University bus."

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Known as "The Ville," short for Robeson Village, it's one of two major public housing neighborhoods on opposite sides of Van Dyke Avenue in the Fourth Ward.

    The neighborhood's residents have been credited with--and also criticized for--taking a stand against a music video being filmed there featuring Jaheim Hoagland, a R&B artist who once called The Ville home.

  • Photo Credit: CMA

    UPDATE (1/26): The plans for the microbrewery and the mixed-use building at 364 Somerset Street were approved 6-0.  Construction Management Associates postponed their hearing on plans for 15 Maple Street until further notice.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hear proposals large and small at its annual reorganization meeting on January 25 at 7:30pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (1/25): This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Mayor James Cahill was out of town on "personal business" and Thomas Loughlin was the Acting Mayor.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the second consecutive night, the city will open Lord Stirling Community School on George Street to anyone without adequate shelter on January 24.

    The city survived the brunt of the most serious winter storm to hit it in years, without any major power outages.