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: 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."

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    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.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

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

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The city's Acting Mayor declared a snow emergency in the Hub City, according to a Nixle alert issued by the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) at 12:27pm on January 23.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—NJTransit Police are investigating how a 36-year-old man fell almost three stories down an elevator shaft at the city's downtown train station at about 5:40am on January 18.

    The man, who came from New York City, suffered injuries to his back and was taken to nearby Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) for treatment after he was rescued by the New Brunswick Fire Department (NBFD).

  • Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorg/Manala

    TRENTON, NJ—Could Middlesex County be home to the next Revel?  How about Union, Monmouth, Somerset, or even Hunterdon?

    If legislative leaders and Governor Christie have their way in the next election, all five could be possibilities.

  • Photo Credit: Surveillance Footage

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—German Nieto was taken into custody by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents after they broke into his home pointing guns at his family on the morning of January 5.

    According to Nieto's family, who has lived on Lawrence Street for more than a decade, the authorities were looking for someone else when they arrived, but ultimately decided to take Nieto to jail after the botched 6am raid.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police patrolling the Fourth Ward of the city heard three or four gunshots emanating from the parking lot of a fast food restaurant at about 6pm on Janury 9, according to police radio transmissions.

    Eventually investigators determined that gunfire took place near the McDonald's on Route 27, near the CoachUSA bus station and the Schwartz Homes public housing complex.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Richard Rabinowitz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--In 2015's most contentious Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, the board unanimously approved variances to allow for a small grocery store in the Fourth Ward on October 26.

    The 7-0 vote clears the way for the owner of Marquez Grocery on Jersey Avenue to open up a similar bodega on Joyce Kilmer Avenue.

    About one out of every three audience members cheered the decision, which involves the bodega owner's wife relocating her existing beauty salon to make room for the store. 

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Police confirmed that a New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) vehicle was struck by an SUV shortly before 2am on January 3 near 120 Jersey Avenue.

    At approximately 1:39 am, NBPD unit #959 was struck by a Honda CRV that police say was being driven by an intoxicated woman from New Brunswick.

    It was the second major crash in the same area in as many nights.  Just two nights earlier, a city man was arrested after wrecking a stolen BMW on French Street.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCIA Open S.P.A.C.E.S.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After several days of secrecy, officials at the Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA) finally issued a statement about how they intend to replace the agency's longtime leader, Richard Pucci.

    Pucci took political observers by surprise when he announced his retirement from the MCIA in December after 25 years in the powerful position.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On January 1, city police found a 2002 BMW that had been stolen from Morristown after its driver was involved in a wreck on French Street.

    According to police radio transmissions, police officers briefly chased the suspect who bailed out after crashing into a guardrail on French Street in between Sanford and Delavan Streets at about 11:20pm.

    However, police lost track of the suspect who was last seen "in the backyards of Comstock Street heading towards Hale Street," according to the transmissions.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—North Brunswick Police Department confirmed that over a two-day span, the department executed two different motor vehicle stops that resulted in motorists leaving the stops and fleeing into New Brunswick, resulting in crashes both times.

    City police were surprised to see several North Brunswick police cruisers engaged in a car chase in the Hub City on the evening of January 1.

    At 8:02pm, North Brunswick police executed a motor vehicle stop at Livingston Avenue and Nassau Street, on the border of the two towns.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    The City of New Brunswick is home to a variety of businesses large and small, from corporate giant Johnson & Johnson to a number of small retail businesses, dining establishments, and precious few places to buy clothing.

    Many of these businesses are part of larger national or international companies, while some are one-of-a-kind local stores, some of which have been based in New Brunswick for decades.

    Supermarkets and Grocery Stores

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In a surprising turn of events, the city's Ethics Board made history when it decided to fine the President of the City Council $100 for repeated ethics violations on November 12.

    Kevin Egan, who was first elected in 2010 and faced no opposition in the 2014 election cycle, admitted in an apology letter sent to the board two days earlier that he failed to comply with disclosure requirements by not revealing one of his rental properties.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In one of the more serious on-campus criminal incidents reported in 2015, the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) responded to the scene of an assault with a weapon at the Henderson Apartments on the night of December 17.

    According to the school's "Daily Crime and Fire Safety Log," one of the three apartment buildings on Labor Center Way was the scene of a number of crimes that occurred shortly before midnight that evening, crimes that have thus far been kept quiet.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The man in charge of relations between the city government and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) will continue to serve on the board of the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA).

    Kevin McTernan's dayjob is at RWJUH, where he has worked since 1979.

    He has chaired the NBPA Board of Commissioners, a powerful unpaid position, for the last fourteen years.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Violent crimes continue to plague the Hub City this holiday season, as man was shot twice in the lower leg on Harvey Street near French Street, at about 12:15am on December 26.

    The victim ran in the side door of Hub Liquors, a bar that more closely resembles a liquor store, leaving a trail of blood and forcing the establishment to close early.

    The unknown victim was hospitalized but is expected to fully recover from his injuries, according to a crime alert.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A man was stabbed in the abdomen at 317 Seaman Street in the first of many serious crimes on Christmas Day.

    "I got a call... Female saying that someone just stabbed her boyfriend," reported a dispatcher over the police radio, sending city police to the scene at about 1:10am on December 25.

    Shortly thereafter police were calling for an ambulance, reporting the victim had been stabbed in the abdomen.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) is investigating an armed robbery that occurred in broad daylight on Handy Street the morning of December 17.

    According to police radio transmissions, no one was injured and the suspect fled on a bicycle after showing a handgun and taking his victim's cell phone at approximately 9:18am.

    It is the latest in a string of violent crimes that city police have not publicized nor solved.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) was caught by New Brunswick Today violating the conditions of a zoning variance granted by the city government earlier this year.

    The city's Zoning Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to approve the hospital's request for a 900-square-foot "digital billboard," or "jumbotron," in May.

  • Photo Credit: Mike Shanahan

    TRENTON, NJ—Joseph Spicuzzo, one of the county's most notoriously corrupt politicians, left a state prison today as a free man, having served just over two years on a nine-year sentence.

    Spicuzzo led the Middlesex County Democratic Organization for many years, and was elected to ten consecutive three-year terms as Sheriff. 

  • Photo Credit: Office of the Attorney General

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Edward O'Rourke, a longtime employee of the New Brunswick Water Utility, admitted to being part of an extensive coverup of water quality problems in New Brunswick, resigned in October and pleaded guilty to serious crimes on December 17.

    The "licensed operator" in New Brunswick until his license was suspended in 2013, O'Rourke has pleaded guilty a second-degree charge of "corruption of public resources" and third-degree violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (12/17): NBPD Captain JT Miller confirmed the incident, but referred to it as "an assault (laceration with a cutting instrument)."  The victim is 36 years old and was hospitalized with "a non-life threatening injury."

    "The preliminary investigation suggests the assault stems from a domestic relationship," said Miller.

    "The assault is actively being investigated by New Brunswick Police detectives."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In the early morning hours of December 8, city police officers chased down a city resident, and punctured his lung while making an arrest, according to the man's attorney.

    The New Brunswick community is organizing a response to the injuries sufferred by 34-year-old Dion Napier at the hands of officers with the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Mayor James Cahill has been office since 1991, but the property taxes paid by homeowners here are still based, at least in part, on assessed values determined before he was sworn into office.

    For the first time in 25 years, the city will re-evaluate the value of properties citywide in a move that could drastically affect the taxes paid by many property owners, if the City Council approves the revalution on December 16.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Both city police and Rutgers police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred on December 13 at Park Deli Too, a store located in the same building as the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD).

    It's the eighteenth incident to lead to a campuswide crime alert this semester, and the fifth robbery in four days to do so. 

  • Photo Credit: Daniel Munoz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Three robberies in the early morning hours of December 12 were the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth incidents to generate Rutgers University crime alerts this semester.

    The robberies occurred in a two-hour span between 1:10am and 3:10am, and one of the incidents left two men injured.

    All three incidents occurred near Rutgers' College Avenue campus or its Cook/Douglass campuses in New Brunswick, which are located on opposite ends of the city's downtown.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials confirmed that a firefighter suspended after being hit with criminal charges is the second to be suspended from the New Brunswick Fire Department (NBFD) this year.

    Dell Walker was suspended without pay on November 23, according to Business Adminstrator Thomas Loughlin III.

    The suspension came three days after the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced criminal charges against Walker, a 19-year veteran of the department, for collecting disability payments at the same time he was working.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating a violent robbery on the Cook campus in the Second Ward, where a man affiliated with the school was injured.

    On December 10, at approximately 7:00 PM, the victim was walking "behind the greenhouses" located off of Dudley Road behind parking lot 98A when he encountered several men.

    The men "demanded items of value" from the victim, according to the crime alert issued less than two hours later.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police are investigating a "suspicious incident" where a woman was nearly abducted at about 2:30am on December 5, near the intersection of Courtlandt and Duke Streets. 

    According to a Rutgers crime alert issued nearly four days after the incident occured, a female who is affiliated with the university was almost pushed into a vehicle she had declined to get into.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 23-year-old woman from Lawrenceville became the latest person to end their life in an apparent suicide by jumping from a public parking deck on December 1.

    Police told other media outlets they were investigating the incident shortly after it occurred at 2:52pm at the Plum Street parking garage.

    The victim landed on the Prospect Street sidewalk, and was still breathing when she was found, according to police radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers Athletics

    PISCATAWAY, NJ--Rutgers’ weeklong search for a new football coach has come to an end, with the school hiring Ohio State University's co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash to be the team’s 30th head coach.

    Ash has served as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, and won a national championship with the Buckeyes last year.

    Ash will also make almost twice as much as Kyle Flood, the coach who was fired just eight days earlier.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Executive Director of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) has earned $5,687 in the first nine months of 2015, on top of his annual $155,062 salary, according to the agency's response to a public records request.

    "Any of my time for overtime is redevelopment work, which is done separately from the housing authority time, and yes I am [eligible for overtime]," Clarke explained to the agency's Board of Directors on November 18.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—According to a press release, New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) officers apprehended two suspects that were "fleeing from the scene of a burglary" during the early morning hours of November 30.

    "The suspects were being chased by one of the victim/residents... as the officers arrived and took the two suspects into custody," reads the release.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Rutgers University officially terminated head football coach Kyle Flood and athletic director Julie Hermann on November 29, in what the school's President termed "a day of change."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two men have been indicted and another four have pleaded guilty so far in the aftermath of arrests targeting a drug and gun sales network that involved the city's Chief Housing Inspector.

    Both Paul Cano, a New Brunswick landlord who owns four rental properties, and Chief Housing Inspector Michael Mahony, have taken deals with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to criminal charges.  But only Cano is expected to go to jail.

  • Photo Credit: MCUA

    TRENTON, NJ—Margaret Brennan, the longtime Treasurer and Comptroller of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority will continue recieving a pension, even after she was caught stealing $57,000 from the public agency.

    The Utilities Authority provides wastewater and solid waste management for most of Middlesex County.

    As we reported previously, Brennan pleaded guility to theft and avoided jailtime thanks to a lenient sentence from Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE: After this article was published, Captain Miller confirmed that two people were injured in the crash and provided the following details:

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After pressing for answers for over three weeks, New Brunswick Today has finally learned the details of a previously undisclosed stabbing that occurred near the city's 24-hour Walgreens on Jersey Avenue.

    On November 23, New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller confirmed for the first time that there was a stabbing during the early morning hours of Saturday, October 31.

    According to Miller, a 17-year-old was stabbed in the arm at about 2:35 am on October 31.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Andrew Cangiano

    UPDATE (12/3): At a December 2 City Council meeting, Business Administrator Thomas Loughlin confirmed that Dell Walker has been suspended.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick Fire Department (NBFD) firefighter has been charged with several criminal offenses for allegedly collecting disability payments while still working for the department.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A man was injured in a drive-by shooting on the morning of November 23 near the intersection of Seaman Street and Lee Avenue in the city's Second Ward, according to NJ.com's Alex Napoliello.

    Police radio transmissions confirm the incident was first reported to authorities at approximately10:54 am, shortly after a man was gunned down by someone seen sitting in the back seat of a moving vehicle with three occupants.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) obtained five variances from the city's Zoning Board on May 18, including one that will allow them to add three floors to a brand-new 11-story structure.

    Among the approvals granted for RWJUH properties was another that gave the go-ahead to erect a large digital billboard on the side of the new parking/office building, similar to the "Jumbotron" screens displayed in Times Square.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a string of armed robberies targeting Rutgers students near the school's campuses in the city, including two involving a handgun and one involving a BB gun.

    The incidents come just two weeks after Halloween weekend, when three young men, including two students, were injured in a gruesome knifefight inside a Rutgers dormitory, and another student reported being robbed on-campus and threatened with a "sharp object."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Four people from New Brunswick were arrested in what authorities described as a "a scheme to pass bad checks in four counties and collect more than $100,000 from local banks and check-cashing businesses."

    The Middlesex County Proecutor's Office (MCPO) announced 16 arrests in total, which included individuals from Roselle, Rahway, Mahwah, Linden, Elizabeth, and Ewing as well as one person from Michigan, according to the MCPO press release

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: North Brunswick PD

    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick man and a Princeton woman were arrested on outstanding warrants before police say they found two guns, inclduing a sawed-off shotgun in their vehicle.

    "During the early morning hours of November 8th, a Patrol Sergeant rolled up upon a suspicious vehicle on Livingston Avenue near Route One," reads a Facebook post by the North Brunswick Police Department.

    The Facebook post identified the suspects as 26-year-old Wendell Pittman, of New Brunswick, and 38-year-old Menga Ramos, of Princeton.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: South Plainfield

    SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—A retired chief of the South Plainfield Police Department (SPPD) has been placed on probation for four years after admitting to injuring a 58-year-old woman and harassing her 8-year-old grandson.

    John Muller, the 73-year-old former police chief, was sentenced to a probationary term in New Brunswick on November 9 by Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—With only four its seven seats physically filled, the embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) struggled along at their September 23 board meeting, the first in two full months.

    Yirgu Wolde, an employee of the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, took over as Board Chairman, and Dale Caldwell was named Vice Chair, despite his absence.

  • Photo Credit: Richard A. Rabinowitz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It was drizzly and rainy on the afternoon and evening of November 10, but that didn't faze celebrants from attending the kickoff of Rutgers' 250th anniversary year.

    Technically, November 10, 2015, was Rutgers 249th birthday, not the 250th.  The date marks the anniversary of the day that the University charter was signed back in 1766.

    Students, faculty, administrators, alums, and others gathered for a variety of activities and enjoyed free food and beverages

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    Arts and culture have been critical to the city's continued success over the years, and have been a major part of the reason why New Brunswick remains the "Hub City" of Central New Jersey.

    A thriving music scene, three state-of-the-art theatres, a free art museum at Rutgers, two downtown art galleries, and the most popular comedy club in the state are just a few of the attractions of New Brunswick's rich culture.

    Music Scene

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Boraie Development never registered their 25-story, 121-unit condominium building so that it could be inspected by the NJ Bureau of Housing Inspection, according to the state government.

    In 1967, the New Jersey legislature adopted the "Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law," which it deemed "necessary for the protection of the health and welfare" of New Jersey residents.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—More than a week after several people were stabbed in the Hub City, local police still have not answered basic questions about crimes that occurred during the chaotic Halloween weekend.

    Among the crimes that went unpublicized were an incident where shots were fired and another where a masked man assaulted someone with "a rusty metal rod," according to police radio transmisions.

    As we reported, the Rutgers University Police Department responded to a gruesome knife-fight in Mettler Hall on October 30.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Middlesex County's government plans to spend $18 million in the next five years on three arts projects, including one that could drastically transform the New Brunswick's theatre district.

    The plan calls for the demolition and replacement of two of city's three major theatres, the Crossroads Theatre and the George Street Playhouse.

    Both are located on Livingston Avenue, and owned by the non-profit New Brunswick Cultural Center, Inc.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (11/18): New Brunswick Today has learned that Michael Bacorn no longer works for the City of New Brunswick, having resigned for a third time.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of two ex-cops who the city re-hired just a few weeks into their retirement is back on the job, after sitting on the sidelines for nine months after questions were raised about the arrangement.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    EDISON, NJ—Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan announced on November 5 that a retired police captain has been charged with theft for "illegally" using sick days while he was working a private security job.

    According to press release form the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), 55-year-old Natale Fresco used paid sick days from Edison Township in July, August, and September, while simultaneously working as security director at the Menlo Park Mall.

  • Photo Credit: DEVCO

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's most notorious redevelopment firm has announced seven of the nine tenants that will occupy retail storefronts in a transformative and controversial privatized dormitory project at Rutgers University.

    The tenants include six different food establishments, including one with roots in New Brunswick, and a Starbuck's Coffee, the third to open within a three-block radius.

    (DEVCO)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE: City spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw confirmed that Joe Catanese was hired almost six months ago, on May 11, at a salary of $25,000.

    "He works approximately seven hours a week strictly on OPRA documents. He was appointed by TK Shamy."

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Joseph J. Catanese, an attorney who led the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) from 2000 to 2008, has joined the city's Law Department as an Assistant City Attorney.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Daniel Munoz

    UPDATE (10/31): Police identified the suspect as 18-year-old Daniel Leandry, a Rutgers University student from Garfield.  Leandry is currently jailed at the Middlesex County Workhouse on $735,000 bail.

    One of Leandry's alleged victims was a Rutgers student, the other was not.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE: MyCentralJersey.com's Suzanne Russell has reported that Rabbi Abraham Mykoff ran into the burning house of worship and rescued the synagogue's Sefer Torah, a handwritten copy of the Torah, the Jewish holy book. 

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Helicopters and fire engines began pouring into the Hub City on October 23 after one of the few remaining historic structures in dowtown caught fire.

    (Fire)
  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are rolling out a new vehicle that once served as a "radio/communications vehicle" for the US military, adding a second mobile precinct to the department's fleet.

    In photographs taken in Buccleuch Park, the six-wheeled truck appears to be larger than any other in the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) vehicle, including its police boat and existing mobile precinct.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An unidentified woman died on Sunday, October 18 at approximately 1:30pm, after jumping off of the Paterson Street parking garage in an "apparent suicide," according to authorities.

    New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) spokesperson Captain JT Miller said the agency investigated "an apparent suicide when an individual jumped from the Paterson Street deck yesterday afternoon."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A resident of the city's Sixth Ward is leaving her position with the Paterson school system for a higher-paying position in New Brunswick's schools.

    Marnie McKoy becomes the first major Paterson school official to follow Aubrey Johnson from the Silk City to the Hub City.  Johnson was named New Brunswick's first new Superintendent in a decade, and took office in July.

    McKoy will earn $157,000 as the district's new Director of Human Resources starting November 2.  

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (10/21): This story has been updated to reflect new information provided by the City of New Brunswick. 

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman was hospitalized after suffering second-degree burns in her condominium on the sixth floor of the city's second-tallest skyscraper after a steam pipe ruptured causing flooding.

  • Photo Credit: Somerset Co. Prosecutor's Office

    FRANKLIN, NJ—Two New Brunswick men and a woman from Franklin Township have been arrested and charged with cocaine possession after a wild series of events that included a narcotics-detecting dog sniffing packages, police surveillance of a home, and a high-speed chase that ended in a crash.

    Authorities say the operation, which resulted in the siezure of five kilograms of cocaine, all started with a tip passed along to Somerset County authorities by the New Brunswick Police Department.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--’The offices of Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey were without electricity for two hours in the county-owned, but privately-managed "Civic Square" building at 25 Kirkpatrick Street.

    The power outage occurred on Tuesday, October 6, but no authorities publicized the problem, or any contingency plans implemented.

    On October 8, Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos confirmed that the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) had been affected by the sudden outage two days earlier.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's rank-and-file police and superior officers will be getting annual raises  through the year 2021 under a four-year contract extension approved 5-0 by the City Council on October 7.

    Mayor James Cahill is expected to sign off on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the New Brunswick Police Benevolent Association (PBA) 23 and 23A, which will continue the existing pattern of annual raises.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Officials confirmed that the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) was evacuated for over an hour on October 7, due to a "suspicious package" sent to the Sheriff. 

    "Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott received today a suspicious package," reads a statement from county spokesperson Stacey Bersani.

    The Sheriff's Office is headquartered at 701 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, in a building rented by the county from the Boraie real estate company. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At least one person was injured in a shooting at the New Brunswick Apartments and quickly taken to a hospital in a private vehicle, while police began investigating the incident.

    The complex has been a crime hotspot in recent years, and October 5 was no different, as three or four shots reportedly rang out at around 9:30pm, according to police radio transmissions.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (5:40PM): New Brunswick's school district announced it won't be sending kids to the warehouse school after all, crediting "impressive, around-the-clock coordination" between New Brunswick Public Schools maintenance teams, the office of New Brunswick Mayor James M. Cahill, city personnel, the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management, and school district administrators and teachers.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's longtime Recreation Director has left his city job, sparking a fierce but quiet competition to replace him.

    Michael Blackwell served as Cahill's Recreation Director for most of his 24 years in office, and worked for the city for over 29 years and boasted of building multiple New Brunswick teen centers.

    "Mike Blackwell's final day of work with the City was August 31. His salary was $84,467," said city spokesperon Jennifer Bradshaw.

  • Photo Credit: Nathaniel Williams

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Moses Williams, a longtime champion for Black Americans, and people all over the world seeking a more peaceful society, passed away on September 21 at the age of 74.

    For four decades, Williams worked with the United Nations (UN) on countless projects, serving as a member of Athletes United for Peace (AUP) and as the Vice Chair of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

  • Photo Credit:

    MILLTOWN, NJ—Neil Raciti, a local government official who also serves in law enforcement, was charged with owning an illegal AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    The weapons charges came just four days after Raciti was charged with aggravated assault after an incident where he allegedly fractured someone's elbow.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University's computer networks have once again been attacked and forced offline, apparently by the same anonymous person who crippled the university's systems several times last semester.

    The attacks come after officials reassured the campus community that the school had poured upwards of $3 million into improving its cybersecurity following a slew of attacks during the spring semester.

  • Photo Credit: ESPN

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At the same time he recruited many of the players infamously arrested earlier this September, former Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano served on the board of a 501(c)3 non-profit "Crime Stoppers" group spearheaded by New Brunswick's Police Director.

    Of the ten current and former Rutgers football athletes arrested and accused of violent crimes this season, Schiano had recruited five of them: Tejay Johnson, Ruhann Peele, Daryl Stephenson, Jamil Pollard, and Leonte Carroo.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (9/28): NBPA Executive Director Mitch Karon told NBToday, "I spoke to [store operator Kevin] Kim regarding the storing of perishable items at Ferren. He advised me that he will be removing and destroying any product that were in open containers."

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A long-awaited redevelopment project on a prime piece of real estate is being held up due to environmental contamination, according to several sources.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police and school officials confirmed there was a fire at the Fourth Ward's McKinley Community School on September 22.

    New Brunswick Today learned about the incident through the grapevine, as neither the school district nor the police department issued any public statements about the incident until we asked them to confirm the blaze.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After 15 months under private control, the city's embattled Water Utility will soon end its relationship with NJ American Water, officials announced on September 16.

    New Brunswick Water Utility provides drinking water to residents and businesses in New Brunswick, Milltown, and parts of Franklin Township.

    The decision marks a big win for water rights activists and local community organizations that opposed any renewal of the privatization deal, which is set to expire on September 30.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city police officer with a bad habit of not wearing his department-issued nameplate has been discplined for violating the New Brunswick Police Department's (NBPD) uniform policy on multiple occasions.

    An Internal Affairs investigation sparked by this reporter found that Officer Jeffrey Monticello had failed to wear his name badge, a mandatory part of the standard uniform.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Milltown Boro

    MILLTOWN, NJ—Even though he is a sworn law enforcement officer, the President of Milltown's Borough Council was arrested and eventually charged with third-degree aggravated assault after an incident on September 20.

    Neil Raciti, a resident of Albert Avenue, has been suspended without pay from his $86,000/year dayjob, but his future in politics is unclear.

  • Photo Credit:

    WATER PRIVATIZATION IN NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ

  • Photo Credit: Jad Kaado

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One day after a magician nearly drowned during a high-profile magic trick in downtown New Brunswick, the City Council voted unanimously to approve a road closure for the event.

    That's right.  The Council had not signed off on the failed water stunt that involved a colleague of the famous Criss Angel, and had to approve it after the fact, or "nunc pro tunc."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers President Robert Barchi announced on September 16 that head football coach Kyle Flood has been "suspended" for three games and fined $50,000 after an investigation found Flood was in violation of the university’s compliance policies, and possibly its Code of Ethics.

    But Flood will still be paid his seven-figure annual salary without interruption.  As we reported, Flood became the highest-paid state employee after signing a lucrative contract extension last fall.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (9/18): The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) announced the arrests of two men in connection with the "shooting incident," and that a handgun was recovered at the scene.

    Charges of Aggravated Assault, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose were filed against 18-year-old Ashaan Wroten, of North Brunswick, and 19-year-old Allen Kareem, of New Brunswick.