Charlie Kratovil

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

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A limited liability company connected to Boraie Development has purchased a unique maze of connected buildings on Elm Row and Bayard Street for $1.5 million.

    According to property records, the prime piece of downtwon real estate includes two mixed-use buildings and 7-bedroom house are assessed at a value of $575,000.

    The plot of land also includes some greenspace, and takes up a total of just .296 acres.  For years, the property had been owned by several trusts associated with the Mindel family.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police requested backup for "crowd control" after they began looking into an incident where multiple gunshots were heard inside the Robeson Village public housing neighborhood, according to police radio transmissions.

    According to NBPD Captain JT Miller, city police responded to the area of Gatling Court at about 1:15am on June 21.  But when they did, "a crowd formed and began to taunt the officers."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—According to a posting on a legal advice website, the Rutgers student worker who posted videos of himself driving at speeds faster than 140mph on a highway has been suspended.

    Rutgers had originally refused to confirm whether or not Christopher Murray worked for the school, and still won't say whether he has been fired, suspended with pay, suspended without pay, or remains on the job. 

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (3:41pm): This article has been updated to include comments from the NBPD spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Several people called the police shortly after midnight on June 19 to report hearing four or five gunshots and witnessing people running from a house party on Hamilton Street.

    "We're just getting calls of shots heard in the area," said a dispatcher, according to police radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City Council President Kevin Egan said that no one told him about the hiring of a politically-connected former police officer to a new, unadvertised job within the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    And Egan has no problem with it.

    As we reported, Anthony Barber, a close ally of Mayor James Cahill, left the Board of Commissioners at the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) last month to take a job at the police department.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—"Someone had one too many and fell in the hole," was how a city official described the accident on April 2 where the Fire Department had to rescue a Rutgers student trapped deep inside a construction site.

    But two months later, officials admit nothing has been to improve safety at a non-union construction site on College Avenue, where the Rutgers Hillel plans to open the largest facility of its type in the country.

  • Photo Credit: Twitter

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A fatal stabbing on the ninth floor of a luxury highrise in downtown has resulted in charges against 16-year-old Jason Molina, who will be tried as an adult.

    Jason Molina's father Bryant Molina is the building superintendent at Skyline Tower, according to sources in the apartment building located at 60 Paterson Street.

    The highrise is operated and managed by Pennrose Properties and was the scene of the crime that claimed the life of a 23-year-old woman on May 11.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    JERSEY CITY, NJ—A notorious developer's yacht set sail from a Hudson County marina as part of a fundraiser for a non-profit organization known as "Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County" on the night of June 10.

    On board were Police Directors from the City of New Brunswick, both past and present, as well as other city police officers and executives at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Amid an emotional farewell to graduating students, retiring teachers, and the district's top administrator, the New Brunswick Board of Education confirmed Aubrey Johnson to be the district's next Supeintendent at their meeting on June 16.

    Johnson, an administrator in the Paterson school district, will start his new job on July 1, where he will be paid a $177,500 annual salary.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police responded to the Schwartz-Robeson public housing neighborhood in the Fourth Ward after a report of at least three shots fired on June 17.

    The incident occurred following a fight in the neighborhood, located between Van Dyke and Quentin Avenues, according to New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) radio transmissions.

    "About an hour ago, there was a [disturbance] there," said a dispatcher, who noted there were five to ten people who called police when the shots were fired at approximately 6:10pm.

  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating whether or not an officer may have helped shut down a public roadway to enable an off-duty EMT to drive his private vehicle at speeds in excess of 140mph.

    Christopher Murray, a recent hire at Rutgers Emergency Services, posted a video of himself driving a car on a public road at what appears to be well over 100mph.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    There are ten public schools in the City of New Brunswick, which are operated by the New Brunswick Board of Education and serve the vast majority of children in the city.

    Until 2012, New Brunswick was the only municipality in Middlesex County that did not directly elect its Board of Education.  In November of that year, voters narrowly decided to change to an elected board.

    Now, each year, elections are held in April for the three of the nine seats on the board.  Board meetings are still not recorded or televised, unlike many other school districts.

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    New Brunswick is one of 25 total municipalities in Middlesex County, the second-most populous county of the 21 counties in New Jersey, USA. New Brunswick was incorporated as a town in 1736 and chartered as a city in 1784.

    The city is located along the southern bank of the Raritan River, bordered by Franklin Township (Somerset County), North Brunswick and East Brunswick (Middlesex).  It is located across the Raritan River from Piscataway, Edison, and Highland Park (Middlesex).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    The primary campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey has been in New Brunswick since its founding in 1766.

    What began as a small religious school has since grown into a one of the largest research and liberal arts insitutions in the United States, and the official state school of New Jersey.

    It is the eighth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and consistently ranks among the top public universities nationwide.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    Like in many New Jersey communities, gun violence, alcohol and drug-related incidents, and motor vehicle crashes are serious problems that affect the city on an almost daily basis in New Brunswick.

    One murder has been reported so far in 2015.  The year before saw four murders reported, down from a high of eight murders in 2012.

    Numerous other crimes continue to plague the city.  Robberies, burglaries, assaults, rapes, and car thefts are among the crimes that are tracked by the NJ State Police on a city-by-city basis.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    New Brunswick is home to more than 50 licensed bars, taverns, nightclubs, and restaurants that can serve liquor, and an even larger number of establishments without liquor licenses.

    As a city that a variety of immigrant groups have called home over its long history, New Brunswick has developed a tremendous diversity of cuisine and 


  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Five candidates have submitted letters saying they want to serve on the city's school board, leaving the other members of the board with a wide variety of choices as they attempt to replace a member who resigned.

    Longtime Board of Education (BOE) member and Rutgers Chemistry professor John Krenos told New Brunswick Today he resigned for "personal reasons," with just under a year left in his three-year term.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Though Rutgers University's public relations officials refuse to admit it, records show that a university police officer charged with stealing $30,000 from her union remains on the school payroll.

    As we reported, Grace Stewart was charged with one count of third-degree theft for stealing $30,000 over a three-month period.  At the time, we reported that a source told us Stewart had been suspended without pay since March, whe she first came under investigation.

  • Photo Credit: NJAG's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick landlord is scheduled to be sentenced in August for his role in a drug and gun trafficking operation taken down by State Police in December 2013.

    Paul Cano pled guilty to first-degree distribution of cocaine and possession of an assault rifle on March 23, according to a spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A close ally of Mayor James Cahill and Police Director Anthony Caputo is working at the NBPD for the second time in his career, after more than ten years on the Trenton Police force.

    Anthony Barber has apparently left his spot on the powerful, five-member New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) Board of Commissioners in order to take a civilian job with the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Patients and visitors were unable to enter or exit Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital's massive Hub City campus for more than two hours on the afternoon of June 8.

    Though no explanation was provided while the "code yellow" was in effect, city police later told the press that a bomb threat prompted the heightened security at the largest hospital in Central New Jersey.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating two non-fatal shootings they say they believe are related.  The incidents took place just seven blocks away from one another in the span of less than three hours.

    Police have not made any arrests but a NBPD press release issued the following morning named both of the city residents who were struck by gunfire.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a shooting that was reported shortly after 8pm on Wednesday, June 3, near the intersection of Lee Avenue and Talmadge Street in the Second Ward.

    One woman was injured in the shooting, according to a news alert.  However, police radio transmissions described a "man down."

    An ambulance was dispatched to the scene, but the victim was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in a privately-owned tan Acura CSX, according to police radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (1:20PM): City Hall has re-opened, but non-emergency services in the Civic Square building, including the municipal court, will be closed for the day.  No injuries were reported.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Just a few hours into the work week, the city and county government were brought to a halt by an exploding transformer near the historic US Post Office in downtown.

    Witnesses reported hearing an explosion prior to the fire, which appears to have been extinguished by city firefighters as of 12:30pm.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For several hours over the weekend of May 16-17, half of the city's Water Treatment Plant was taken offline due to a problem with the feeding of aluminum sulfate, an important chemical in the treatment process.

    City officials say they believe that issues with the water treatment process began around noon on Saturday, May 16 and were not discovered for about three hours.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Earlier this year, the City of New Brunswick came out on the losing end of a high-profile court challenge, and agreed to repeal two antiquated laws against the solicitation of or begging for food or money earlier this year.

    The city admitted there were "legitimate concerns regarding the constitutionality of the Ordinances" and agreed to "amend or repeal" them swiftly following the suit brought by the New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness and a local resident.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—Rutgers still has not confirmed whether or not a police officer criminally charged with stealing $30,000 from her union is on the official University payroll, but a source says she was suspended without pay in March.

    Grace Stewart was the treasurer of the Rutgers Fraternal Order of Police Local #62, and is charged with one count of third-degree theft for stealing $30,000 over a three-month period.

  • Photo Credit: User-submitted photo

    NEWARK, NJ—Grace Stewart, a police officer assigned to the Newark campus of Rutgers University, has been criminally charged with stealing $30,000 from the union that represents officers.

    But the university has remained silent about her current status as an employee and a law enforcement officer despite repeated inquiries.

    "She has been charged with theft of 30,000 dollars from the PBA," said Katherine Carter, spokesperson for the Essex County Prosectuor's Office.

  • Photo Credit: NJ American Water

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The company hired by Mayor James Cahill to perform critical functions for the city's embattled Water Utility has accepted blame for the latest violations committed by the agency, according to a memo from his Business Administrator.

    As we reported, the city did not properly treat water on ten different days in December 2014, and one day in January 2015.

  • Photo Credit: Attorney General's Office

    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ—Mayor Mac Womack confirmed that a suspended Township employee who was charged with distributing drugs on the job can return to work as soon as he recovers from a "non-work-related" injury.

    Michael Vitanza has worked as a laborer with the Township of North Brunswick's Department of Public Works until his December 2013 arrest in a State Police operation that took down a major drug and gun sales network.

    Authorities said he was caught purchasing drugs while he was on the job.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Superintendent Richard Kaplan confirmed that the school district's growth has led to a change in plans, and the opening of an additional elementary school in September.

    Because the district saw 686 more students enrolled in September 2014 than it had been planning for, Kaplan said administrators changed their plans for what do with a former Catholic school campus in the city's Fifth Ward.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Former Water Director Alexei Walus is accused of using "inappropriate and derogatory language" on the job, according to the Mayor's Office, and that's why the Mayor says he demoted him.

    According to sources, Walus compared the cleanliness of two buildings on the campus of the city's Water Treatment Plant to the difference between one side of the proverbial railroad tracks and "the other side of the tracks on the n****r side of town."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    FRANKLIN, NJ—More than 500 people attended a funeral service on May 14 for Christine Huh, a 2014 Rutgers University graduate and the daughter of a pastor at a popular Korean Church.

    The funeral was conducted in Korean at the Praise Presbyterian Church on Cedar Grove Lane, where her father Bong Kee Huh leads a sizable congregation.

    Mourners who spoke to's Dave Hutchinson said that they remembered Huh as a "really happy person" who was "young and talented." 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--In a surprising turn of events, a well-respected member of the city's school board resigned creating a vacancy at a critical time.

    Business Administrator Richard Jannarone explained that outgoing board member John Krenos, who was not present at the May 12 board meeting, expressed his "deep regret" and gratitude to his colleagues.

    Krenos, a Rutgers professor and Second Ward resident, was first elected in 2013 after serving as an appointed school board member prior to the implementation of school elections.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced the arrest of a 16-year-old male in connection with a tragic murder case, the first reported killing this year in the Hub City.

    Three hours after police were first contacted, they arrested the teenager in Bridgewater, about 10 miles away from the scene of the crime, a luxury apartment building in downtown known as Skyline Tower.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a shooting that took place in the Riverside public housing development in the First Ward on the evening of May 9 at about 9:40pm, according to police radio transmissions.

    According to the police radio transmissions, a gunshot victim walked into Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at about 10pm.

    It is not clear yet if the victim, a man who police identified as a resident of that same block, was shot in Riverside or somewhere else.

  • Photo Credit: MCBA

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Judge Dennis Nieves suspended the proposed jail sentence of a 68-year-old former government worker, throwing out a plea deal that had been reached between her and prosecutors in December.

    The lighter sentence means that, if Brennan stays out of trouble, she will avoid jail time completely despite writing herself checks from public bank accounts more than a dozen times in the final three years of her career.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police are investigating a shots fired call on Wright Place 10:12pm, where at least eight shots were fired amid a fight in the 4th Ward neighborhood.

    Similar to a reported shooting earlier in the week on the other side of town, police were unable to locate any victim.  It's unclear if anyone was hit by gunfire in the incident, which took place in the public.

    According to witnesses, one man was chasing another while firing at him in the vicinity of the Schwarz Homes public housing.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A variety of expensive "capital improvement" projects are included in the city's annual budget this year, which will put the city in an additional $9.44 million in debt.

    The capital budget is designed for significant one-time investments and projects, and although the issuing of bonds was approved at a previous City Council meeting, the hearing and a final vote on the entire budget is scheduled for May 6.

  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—This year's Cinco de Mayo holiday proved to be a big day for parties in the Fifth and Sixth Wards of the city, where Rutgers students nearing the end of their school year dominate the neighborhood.

    City police were busy breaking up parties, issuing tickets, and making arrests early in the afternoon, according to police radio transmissions.

    In one incident, three people were injured after a railing broke on deck in the rear of 178 Hamilton Street at about 5:20pm.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick police are investigating a shooting which took place at about 5pm on May 5 in Recreation Park, also known as "Pine Street Park."

    No victim was located but several witnesses told police there had been a shooting.  According to police radio transmissions, witnesses said the shooting involved a group of about ten men.

    Witnesses in the park told officers that a shooting victim had left the scene in a black Honda Accord, according to the transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil/Molly O'Brien

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--For for at least four days, an embarrassing and alarming denial of service attack wreaked havoc on academics and other aspects of university life on all campuses of Rutgers University.

    It marks the third distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack this semester, leaving students outraged at their school as it struggles to deal with a variety of logistical problems caused by the outages.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Three men forced their way into a Prosper Street residence on the night of April 26, bringing with them a firearm and a baseball bat, after the front door was opened in response to a knock at the door, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The incident occurred at approximately 11:29 PM, just two blocks away from the main campus of Rutgers.

  • Photo Credit: MCUA

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The 67-year-old Ex-Treasurer of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority has admitted to stealing $57,000 from the Middlesex County Utilities between 2012 and 2014.

    But almost five months after her guilty plea, Margaret Brennan still has not spent a moment in jail, thanks to the retirement of Judge Bradley Ferencz.

    Judge Ferencz left his post as the county's Presiding Criminal Judge earlier this year, but not before scheduling the sentencing of Brennan for February 2, just a few days after he planned to leave office.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) is investigating a robbery where a college student was pistol-whipped, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The robbery took place at 1:47 a.m. on April 23 in an off-campus residence, on Guilden Street between Bristol and Prosper Streets.

    According to the alert, the victims of this robbery reported hearing voices outside of their residence.  Upon checking the alleyway next to the residence, they discovered three male suspects wearing masks, it says.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Protesters against police brutality and Governor Chris Christie's decision to dispatch 150 New Jersey State Troopers to Baltimore, Maryland, repeatedly disrupted a high-profile event held on Suydam Street.

    What began as heckling turned into more organized chants as the small but growing group spoke from behind a large metal gate taller than all of them.

    A small group protesters originally gained access to the event, held in the parking lot of the New Brunswick Counseling Center at 320 Suydam Street.

  • Photo Credit: Daniel Munoz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Since about 10:21am on April 27, many of the computer networks at Rutgers University have been experiencing outages, apparently the result of yet another cyber-attack on the university.

    Students were outraged to find that several services were not working, including wireless internet access, several online learning tools, and even the ability to accept credit and debit cards at some on-campus stores.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    EDISON, NJ—A woman walking near the Treetops Apartments in Highland Park told police she was pushed, sprayed with mace, and robbed near the intersection of Road 1 and Cedar Lane in Edison.

    The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating a robbery because the incident technically happened on the fringe of the university's Livingston campus, which is located in Piscataway, and small portions of Highland Park and Edison.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City of New Brunswick announced that a store called "Key Food Marketplace" would replace the vacant site of the former Fresh Grocer at the lower level of the Wellness Plaza in downtown New Brunswick.

    The property's landlord, the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA), voted on April 24 to grant a 2o-year lease to a store operator working with the Staten-Island-based Key Food Stores Co-operative, Inc.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two men were shot in downtown New Brunswick, shortly before last call at the Glo Ultra Lounge in the early morning hours of April 22.

    All available police units responded to the disturbance, which quickly escalated into a shooting that spilled out onto the block of Paterson Street that also is home to Perle, a nightclub owned by the same people who run Glo.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An Assistant Superintendent in the City of Paterson will be the next New Brunswick Schools Superintendent, according to several sources.

    Earlier this year, rumors swirled in both the Silk City and the Hub City that Aubrey Johnson was a finalist for the position being vacated by New Brunswick Superintendent Richard Kaplan. 

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    UPDATE: The school budget was approved by voters by a wide margin 134-32.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--For the third time in history, New Brunswick citizens will vote in a referendum on the $198 million budget for the city school district.

    Registered voters can vote in today's school election at their regular polling locations between 7am and 9pm.

    The budget, and in particular the $27 million to be raised from local property taxes, is being put to city voters in the form of a ballot question.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Bicyclists in New Brunswick have something to cheer about, as the city government continues its push to make roads safer for them.

    While a multi-million dollar county government project to construct a downtown bike lane has been in the works for well over a decade, with no end in sight, the city government has taken up several initiatives to help make other neighorhoods more bike-friendly.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the second time in as many years, the New Brunswick city government has been forced to own up to violations of state drinking water treatment regulations.

    In the latest episode, drinking water distributed to New Brunswick, Milltown, and Franklin had not been in contact with chlorine for the required amount of time on eleven different dates in December 2014 and January 2015.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--In the early morning hours of April 13, New Brunswick police pulled over a vehicle on Louis Street and ended up making an arrest of weapons and drug charges.

    Miseka Diggs, a 39-year-old resident of South Bound Brook, was charged with several offenses after officers found a handgun, hollow point bullets, and crack cocaine, according to a NBPD press release.

    Hollow point bullets have a specially-designed tip that is intended to cause the bullet disrupt more tissue as it travels through the target.

  • Photo Credit: Daniel Munoz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has been getting paid from multiple entities with competing financial interests, including the taxpayers and tuition-payers at the state university, and two companies that do business with Rutgers.

    All told, Barchi made well over $1 million dollars last year, a combination of his public salary with two side jobs serving on the Boards of Directors of private companies that sell products to Rutgers.

  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Noble Aaron El Shabazz is not one to give up on a fight.  For the past four years, he has challenged a system that he says is corrupt to the core: the New Brunswick city government.

    After allegedly being racially profiled and harassed twice by New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) officers in 2010, Shabazz filed internal affairs (IA) complaints with the department.

  • Photo Credit: Nicholas West

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A Rutgers student had to be rescued by the city's Fire Department after he fell into a hole at a College Avenue construction site on April 2.

    The incident occurred at about 7pm, after construction workers had left for the day at the future site of the Rutgers Hillel building at 78 College Avenue.

    "The individual who got on to the site was a student who resides off-campus. I have no additional information on the individual," said a Rutgers spokesperson.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK TODAY, the city's independent, bilingual community newspaper is available for free 365 days a year, 24 hours a day throughout Middlesex County.

    We are proud to be the only bilingual newspaper in the area, and to offer it for free.

    This is only possible thanks to the generous support of our readers, advertisers, and supporters.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University's computer networks are vulnerable due to their inadequate and outdated security practices.

    The university refuses to confirm or deny whether this is true, or whether such weaknesses helped facilitate recent "cyberattacks" launched against it.

    The FBI is now investigating the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against Rutgers, which lasted from Friday, March 27 through Monday, March 30.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Mayor James Cahill has demoted his new Water Director, assuming control of the embattled utility for the second time in less than a year.

    New Brunswick Water Utility Director Alexei Walus was demoted "effective immediately" to Water Treatment Plant Supervisor "following an incident involving the use of derogatory and inappropriate language."

    The announcement came in an unusual posting on the city government website on March 27.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One man is in stable condition after being stabbed and undergoing surgery, while another victim in the same incident was arrested on his way out of the hospital on an unrelated warrant.

    It was a busy night for city police on March 28, especially around the time of last call at the city's 50+ bars.

    Mi Tierra, a bar at the corner of Jersey Avenue and Handy Street in the city's Fourth Ward, was the scene of three stabbings in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 29, according to a police press release. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil/Molly O'Brien

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An email sent at 2:29pm on March 29 was the first official communication that tens of thousands of students got from Rutgers University, after more than two days of service interruptions involving the school's computer network.

    The university acknowledged its network was the victim of a cyber-attack that took down internet service in dormitories, and rendered many online services used by students and staff unusable.  Shortly after 1pm, the main Rutgers University website had been taken offline for at least 15 minutes.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--With the snow and ice gone from the city's roadways, litter and potholes have taken their place.

    Few places is this more apparent than on Hamilton Street, which divides the city's Fifth and Sixth Wards.  There, the badly damaged roadway is in need of repair, but the city government has fallen behind schedule.

    After identifying the roadway as one that would be re-paved in 2014, thanks to funding from the NJ Department of Transportation, the city went back on its word last year, citing bad weather.

  • Photo Credit: Rutgers University

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University's Sakai online learning software is currently unavailable, and has been for some time, after what is either a major computer failure or a purposeful attack.

    Connectivity issues have plagued parts of the university's computer network since the night of Friday, March 27, but Rutgers officials have not that yet acknowledged the service outage, or responded to our email inquiries.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Shortly before 1:30am on March 28, city police say they found a stabbing victim "bleeding profusely from the neck" in the city's Sixth Ward near the intersection of Sicard and Senior Streets.

    Shortly thereafter, they allegedly located a naked man pacing back and forth inside an apartment that contained large amounts of drugs.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The administration of Rutgers University President Robert Barchi reached a new low on the night of March 26, when a mysterious man protecting the President shoved and restrained the editor of this newspaper.

    While attempting to ask Barchi a question about a recent business deal that likely made him hundreds of thousands of dollars, this reporter was checked by the forearm of a man who proceeded to hold him against a chair while Barchi exited the building.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The father of a murder victim is calling out the New Jersey Court system for the way it handled the case against a city resident accused of killing his son.

    Jose Negron complained prosecutors handling the case were changed twice in the lead-up to the trial, and questioned why the a Superior Court Judge Barry Weisberg was put in charge of the murder trial, despite never handling a criminal case before.

    "Something went extremely wrong in this case," Negron told New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE: Rutgers University Police Department issued an email crime alert for the incident at 4:32pm, and a Nixle emergency alert at 5:20pm.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police and their counterparts from Rutgers University responded to a home invasion robbery reported to have occurred on Robinson Street in the student-dominated Sixth Ward.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two people were injured in a shooting that took place Sunday afternoon, on a dead-end block about 1,000 feet from New Brunswick High School in a Fourth Ward neighborhood.

    Anthony Brown, a 22-year-old from New Brunswick, was shot in the hand and the buttocks, and a 17-year-old male juvenile was shot once in the chest, according to police.

    Both victims walked in to the emergency room at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after being dropped off in privately-owned vehicles.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (3/27): Police announced the arrest of 19-year-old city resident Romeo Salas on charges with Attempted Murder, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.

    Romeo Salas was the suspect in a stabbing incident at a Suydam Street house party on March 22 at approximately 12:15am. Police also identified the victim as 26-year-old city resident Daniel Perez.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City Council introduced an $84 million budget prepared by the administration on March 18, one that will increase the average homeowner's tax bill by $147 for the 2015 year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (3/23): Police identified the shooting victim as 27-year-old New Brunswick resident Shabazz Muhammed, and indicated he is in critical but stable condition at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

    Police are looking into the possibility that a shooting that injured two people sixteen hours later might be related.

  • Photo Credit: DEVCO/JLL

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A promotional website hyping the next big potential redevelopment project proposed by New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) hints that the massive piece of prime real estate may not return to the tax rolls for decades. lists a variety of incentives for potential businesses that may wish to locate in the mega-development, including at least one that would require approval of the Mayor and City Council.

  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

    UPDATE (3/16): New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) confirmed they arrested Isaiah Colon, an 18-year-old man from Somerset, Irvoan Evans, a 21-year-old man from Wilson, North Carolina, and a 16-year-old boy from Newark who was not named.

    They say they recovered two "airsoft guns" from the suspects' vehicle, which was defined in a police press release as "a handgun which fires projectiles similar to BB’s by way of compressed gas."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--At approximately 2:54am, a person was injured in a robbery at the city's downtown train station, according to police radio transmissions.

    "Can you head over to the train station?" asked a dispatcher.

    "I have a caller who states a man is bleeding from the head. He just got robbed by one black female and three black males."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Officials at the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) said that representatives of a supermarket company were recently in town as part of ongoing talks to replace the city's vacant FreshGrocer supermarket.

    "We have a company that we are negotiating with and they've made several visits to the site," said NBPA Chairman Kevin McTernan.

    The most recent visit was on Monday, March 2, officials said.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a shooting reported by residents of the Second Ward at approximately 9:39pm on March 11.

    City spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw confirmed that police are investigating the "shots fired" last night on Rutgers, and that no one was reportedly injured in the inciden

    According to police radio transmissions, neighbors reported hearing four to six gunshots on Rutgers Street between Lee and Remsen Avenues.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the second year in a row, three of school board's nine members are coasting to another term on the board with no opposition in the April 21 election.

    Incumbents Edward Spencer, Franchesca Rodriguez, and Ronald Hush were the only three people to submit their names for election as of the March 3 deadline.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At about 1:15am on March 8, a man was reportedly robbed and assaulted with an unusual weapon, a "taser" stun gun, according to police radio transmissions.

    The crime allegedly took place near the intersection of Lee Avenue and Lawrence Street, 

    "He was just robbed...  They tased him, assaulted him, took his phone, and then ran.  Lee Avenue towards downtown," said a dispatcher.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--It's a big week for the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, a stewardship group that looks after the Raritan River and its many tributaries.

    On Monday March 9, from 1:30-3:30PM, the organization invites members of the public to a "special presentation" of water quality data in the public meeting room of the New Brunswick Elks Lodge, located at 40 Livingston Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—With his boss of almost thirty years looking on, Benjamin Bucca defended how he solicited and accepted donations from a major developer that often came before the Planning Board he represents in New Brunswick.

    "I didn't see really myself as the board attorney... because the board didn't need an attorney," Bucca told the city's ethics board under questioning in the January 16 hearing.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--For much of the past two years, the city government has been misleading the public about how frequently its so-called "Board of Ethics" has been meeting in public.

    A person visiting the city's website would assume the six-member board met once every three months, presumably working towards a more ethical city government.

  • Photo Credit: Kaila Boulware

    EDISON, NJ—An anonymous document circulated in January makes the case that county investigators and prosecutors have gone overboard in their efforts to take down one Edison police officer.

    It is just the latest episode in a series of scandals that cast a shadow over the Edison Police Department (EPD), which has become known for political infighting, retaliation, corruption, and outrageous, headline-grabbing misconduct cases.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–The city's new Barnes & Noble (B&N) Rutgers University superstore on Somerset Street may soon be part of a different company than the original B&N retail locations.

    Barnes & Noble, Inc. announced on February 26 plans to spin off its college bookstore business unit from its B&N's retail, online, and "Nook Digital" businesses. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--So far, the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Attorney General's Office have held off on punishing the city, and its longtime water treatment plant operator for falsifying water quality reports and endangering the public.

    On seven occasions between 2010 and 2013, the city covered up problems with its drinking water, neglecting to properly notify its own customers that they should be boiling water before use.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Though it is still dominated by caucasian officers, the New Brunswick Police Department is somewhat more representative of the city it serves after a new round of hiring, according to data provided by the agency.

    In the aftermath of the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the New York Times reported that the NBPD was 70% white.

    Under Civil Service guidelines, the city hired eleven new officers in 2011, effectively lowering the percentage of caucasian officers to 62.6% of the force.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police responded to Jones Avenue near Handy Street after a man was reportedly stabbed in the back after he confronted a duo of robbers who he saw breaking into cars.

    The incident occurred shortly after 9:30pm, and it's not clear if police have made any arrests in the case.

    "I was walking home from the store," the victim told New Brunswick Today. "Saw them climb into my friend's car so I stopped it."

    "It got violent. I got stabbed. They ran."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating at least two armed robberies on the same block of Hamilton Street, as several alarming crime trends continue to affect the neighborhood near Rutgers University.

    The two recent armed robberies, one at a residence and the other in a convenience store, come on the heels of several similar incidents in the neighborhood over the past several months, and new data that shows a spike in armed robberies in the Hub City.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A second already-incarcerated man has been charged in connection with a February 2 home invasion robbery that police now say they believe to be a drug deal gone wrong.

    New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) detectives identified Devonta Bethea, a 20-year-old man from Camden, as the second suspect in a robbery that occurred during a "pre-arranged meeting" with a resident at an apartment on Morrell Street.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—More than ten years after a fire destroyed two buildings on Easton Avenue, the property owner is formally asking to build a four-story mixed-use structure in their place.

    If the plans are approved by the city's Planning Board at their February 26 meeting, David Abisleiman would be permitted to build an 18-unit apartment building with two storefronts on the ground level on the 9,500 square foot piece of prime real estate, along the busy street.

  • Photo Credit: Woodbridge Township

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—Just hours before the Township's Board of Education was scheduled to meet, news broke that their longtime Business Administrator Dennis DeMarino was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.

    Township Police say they found DeMarino had a gram of cocaine in his vehicle of February 18, during a traffic stop initiated after allegedly witnessing a drug deal in the parking lot of the school district administration building.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (7:45PM): City police announced that they apprehended Cruz Bruno-Rioz, who had been identified by "several witnesses" as a suspect in the shooting, shortly after the incident.

    This article has been updated to reflect the NBPD's statement, which also indicated that the shooting actually happened inside a barbershop near the intersection of French and Bayard Streets.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--City police made a lot of noise until about 1am on February 17, alerting residents on main roads that their cars would be ticketed and towed if they were not moved to facilitate plowing operations.

    The storm was predicted long before the NBPD set out on their mission, and the city announced the "snow emergency" via their Nixle emergency alert system at 8:35pm.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a stabbing that reportedly occurred on Morrell Street between Wyckoff and Sicard Streets in the Sixth Ward, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    According to the alert, the incident took place at approximately 4:30am on February 14.

    The Rutgers student victim was "approached by three males following a verbal altercation which took place during a party at an off campus residence," according to the alert.

  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Hub City is just over five square miles, but it has a population of between 50,000 and 60,000 people, and a police force of more than 130 sworn officers.

    Those officers made 2,199 arrests in 2014, roughly one arrest for every 27 residents, according to documents obtained by New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Almost fifteen years after Derick Stevens allegedly sexually assaulted an inmate at the county jail he worked at, the criminal case against him finally appears to be coming to a close. 

    But, like other public officials who have been given probation despite the severity of their alleged crimes, Stevens will likely avoid any time in jail.

    His career with the Middlesex County Department of Adult Corrections and Youth Services began on August 19, 1996, four years before he allegedly sexually assaulted the inmate.

  • Photo Credit: Molly O'Brien

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the fifth time in as many months, sparks flew as the New Brunswick Planning Board heard testimony on a developer's controversial plan to build a 52-unit apartment building on Mine Street.

    With the board's self-appointed curfew of 10:30pm, they were once again forced to delay any potential action on the application made by Construction Management Associates (CMA), after another grueling three-hour meeting.

  • Photo Credit: South Brunswick Police Dept.

    SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ--Township Police announced the arrest of Nygeria Dixon, a 24-year-old mother from New Brunswick, on charges she used her 4-year-old daughter to help her steal a wallet from another customer in the Target store on Route 1.

    Dixon has been charged with one count of theft and two counts of child endangerment in the incident, which occurred in January.