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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University's computer networks are vulnerable due to their inadequate and outdated security practices.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

    (Police)
  • 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 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    TheHubNewBrunswick.com 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."

    (Police)
  • 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."

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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."

    (Police)
  • 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.

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    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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
  • 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.

    (Police)
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    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.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) is preparing to replace hundreds of its coin-operated parking meters with newer technology, at the cost of $350,000.

    The agency, which manages nine different public parking garages, a handful of surface parking lots, and handles the enforcement of on-street parking, plans to purchase 704 parking meters that accept credit cards.

    The meters would be provided by IPS Group, a parking and telecommunications company based in San Diego.

  • Photo Credit: NJ State Police

    NORTH  BRUNSWICK, NJ—Michael Vitanza may soon be back to working at the Township's Department of Public Works, more than a year after being arrested for buying drugs while on the job.

    Vitanza, age 58, worked as a laborer until he was charged with "conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance" in December 2013, as part of a State Police investigation known as "Operation: Smoke Screen."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) announced that detectives arrested eleven people in the early morning hours on February 11, saying that they were involved in a series of four different after-hours burglaries of city stores in the past month.

    "In each instance several suspects would approach the glass door or window of a convenience store and throw a large object, usually a brick or cinder block through the window allowing access to the store," reads the NBPD press release.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Rutgers student reported being struck in the leg with a plastic pellet shot from "an airsoft gun" believed to have been fired from a moving vehicle, according to a university crime alert.

    "It is believed that the pellet was discharged from a passing vehicle traveling on Nichol Avenue towards Suydam Street," reads the crime alert on the bizarre incident, which took place Monday, February 9, at approximately 10:40 PM.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After nearly a year of public hearings, more than a dozen hours of testimony, two demolitions, and numerous objections to the process moving forward, the city's Planning Board still isn't any closer to voting on a developer's controversial plans for Mine Street.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    FREEHOLD, NJ—A Monmouth County judge has let New Brunswick's chief housing inspector out on probation after he was caught with a distribution quantity of cocaine in his city vehicle.

    Michael Mahony was the Chief Housing Inspector for the City of New Brunswick for nineteen years, until he was busted with a "distribution quantity" of cocaine in his city-owned truck on December 19, 2013.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The brand-new Redshaw Elementary School on Livingston Avenue will host the first of four public meetings on an engineering study commissioned with the goal of making that roadway safer for all users on Wednesday, February 11.

    The 7pm meeting at the school located, at 216 Livingston Avenue, will likely feature a brief presentation from city and county officials, or perhaps Dewberry Engineering, the firm they both hired to conduct the study.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers Police are investigating a report of criminal sexual contact that took place on Hamilton Street and on a Rutgers University bus traveling from the College Avenue Campus towards the Cook/Douglass Campus.

    The incident was reported to have occurred on Saturday, February 7, at approximately 2:00 AM, according to the alert. 

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Three armed gunmen forced their way into a Courtland Street home in the Sixth Ward, demanding marijuana, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The robbery occurred on February 4, shortly after 9pm, according to police radio transmissions.  However, the crime alert erroneously indicated that the crime occurred at 10:16pm.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick BOE

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An elementary school student is facing charges of aggravated arson after a fire last month at the McKinley Community School, according to city officials.

    The fire did not injure anyone, and the damage was minimal, but it required an evacuation, the re-location of staff and students to a nearby building, and the cancellation of after-school activites on January 20.

    "According to NBFD, a young kid set a small fire on the hand sanitizer dispenser," said city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Police are investigating another daytime burglary in the Hub City, at least the second to occur on February 4.

    At around 1:54pm, just three hours after an alleged burglar stole a police truck and ran over a NBPD officer, officers received reports of another burglary in a different neighborhood.

    Officers responded to a residence at 63 May Street where neighbors had reported a burglary in progress.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A nearly four-hour manhunt came to an end on February 4 when police located the 26-year-old man they say stole a NBPD truck and ran over a police officer with it.

    Andrell Childs had "barricaded" himself in the basement of 204 Handy Street by the time officers arrived at about 3:45pm, according to police.

    "Officers were able to enter the residence and apprehend Mr. Childs without incident," reads a police press release issued at 6:30pm.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On the first Thursday of every month, the city's Traffic Commission holds a public meeting in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

    The group consists of six members, chaired by the New Brunswick Parking Authority's Executive Director Mitch Karon.

    Other city officials sometimes sit including Planning Director Glenn Patterson, City Engineer Tom Guldin, as well as New Brunswick police officers, and city firefighters.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city police officer was injured on February 4 after being run over by a New Brunswick police truck on Comstrock Street while chasing suspects in a burglary.

    That led to a manhunt that is continuing, and a search for the vehicle that lasted for a half-hour.  The truck was recovered by New Brunswick police inside Fulton Square, a gated community roughly a half-mile from the site it was taken.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--City police officers used a drug called naloxone, better known as "Narcan," to revive a 46-year-old man who appeared to suffer from a heroin overdose in the bathroom of the New Brunswick Free Public Library on January 29.

    A police press release, issued five days after the incident, did not specify what time the incident occurred or the names of officers involved.

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    UPDATE (2/6):  Funeral services for Judge Wright will be held on Thursday, February 12, at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 771 Somerset Street in Somerset.

    The wake will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., with the funeral to follow immediately thereafter.

    In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the New Brunswick Education Association, 83 Morris Street, New Brunswick, NJ.

  • Photo Credit: RUOFFCAMPUSAPTS.com

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--City police are investigating another dangerous crime in the city's Sixth Ward, home to Rutgers University.

    According to a crime alert issued by the school, a group of students were robbed by two men they had allowed into their home for a "prearranged meeting," shortly after 11pm on February 2.

  • Photo Credit: Nicholas West

    UPDATE (2/3, 9PM): A source has indicated that an additional seven residents from one of the neighboring properties were displaced because of the fire, bringing the total displaced to fourteen.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Just after a dramatic Super Bowl came to an end on a cold Sunday evening, a 122-year-old home on Hamilton Street caught fire, injuring one person and leaving seven city residents out of a home.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex Co. Utilties Authority

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Margaret Brennan was scheduled to be sentenced on February 2 after admitting to stealing $57,000 towards the end of her 29-year tenure at the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA), where she served as Treasurer and Comptroller.

    The admission, and a plea deal for a 364-day sentence in county jail came in December.  But Brennan, who is 68 years old and worked for the authority for 28 years, still has not spent a night in jail.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--City police are investigating at least one incident on January 31 where a man was robbed at knifepoint by three other men on Harvey Street in the Fifth Ward, according to a Rutgers University crime alert.

    But what the crime alert does not mention is that a similar incident was reported just twenty minutes earlier one block away, according to police radio transmissions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A lot of attention is paid to New Brunswick's sometimes-heated City Council meetings, where protesters and other critics often descend producing tension and conflict.

    But some of the city's biggest decisions are quietly made with little public discussion at meetings of the five unelected men who make up the New Brunswick Parking Authority's (NBPA) Board of Commissioners

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick police are investigating an assault and robbery that occurred Thursday, January 22, at approximately 7:45 PM on Brookside Avenue, according to a Rutgers crime alert.

    According to the alert, the victim is a resident of Brookside Avenue, who was assaulted by two men in an alley adjacent to his home, located between Freeman Street and Louis Street.

    "He was approached by two male perpetrators who physically assaulted him and removed an item of value," reads the crime alert.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (4PM): The city plans to tow all vehicles parked on major routes, and the Parking Authority has opened five of its decks (Wolfson, Wellness, Plum Street, Morris Street, and New Street), offerring free parking for city residents until the end of the emergency.

    Rutgers University has also decided to cancel all classes tomorrow, Tuesday Januart 27, and plans to resume a regular schedule on Wednesday.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are likely investigating the case of a woman who fell from the top floor of the Gateway parking garage, located near the New Brunswick train station.

    Police arrived to find a "jumper" dead on arrival in the vicinity of Brother Jimmy's BBQ restaurant.

    All signs point to suicide in the case, according to police radio transmissions.  The woman supposedly leaped to her death from the tenth floor of the parking garage, where her car was found. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ— Aggravated assaults, and those involving dangerous weapons, were up 47% during the first eleven months of 2014 in New Brunswick, compared to the same period in 2013, according to New Jersey State Police crime statistics.

    From January through November 2014, the New Brunswick Police Department investigated at least 160 assaults that either involved a dangerous weapon or were categorized as "aggravated assaults," including a 65% increase in assaults involving a gun over the previous year's stats.

  • Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Gray

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On January 20, a real estate developer demolished a structure at 29 Mine Street and its accompanying carriage house, in the latest powerplay in the ongoing struggle over the future of the block.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--One of New Brunswick's little-known government bodies can bring together a lot of political forces in one place.

    The nine-member Citizens' Recreation Committee includes three members of the city's Board of Education, the Vice Chair of the New Brunswick Democratic Organization, and a City Council member who serves as a liason.

    All nine members are city residents, who have been appointed by Mayor James Cahill.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At New Brunswick Today, we believe that the news should be free and accessible to anyone and everyone who wants it.

    That's why, with the help of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Beacon Reader, we are launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15,000 to expand the city's only bilingual news operation.

    We need your help to make this happen.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's Environmental Commission is one of several volunteer boards and commissions that have a very specific purpose in the New Brunswick government.

    Made up of seven city residents, and some leaders in the city government who usually do not attend, the board meets in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 7pm on the third Tuesday of each month (except December).

  • Photo Credit: YouTube user MrLegolize

    EXIT 9, NJ—A remarkably calm driver pulled over on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike was videotaping one crash involving a tractor trailer, and ended up capturing an even more frightening wreck behind him.

    "I was blocked by two trucks on south bound I-95 at exit 9 in NJ (New Brunswick exit). I only wanted to take a picture while i was awaiting for them to clear up," writes YouTube user MrLegolize.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE: NJ.com has reported that Linden Police located the woman and the van, and that NBPD arrived and ordered the woman be taken to a medical facility.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--The owner of Park Deli Too convenience store says a regular customer came in on January 18, naked from the waist down, and stole a cargo van left idling outside, before crashing into another vehicle and leaving the scene.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's school board typically meets in public just once each month, in the auditorium of the New Brunswick High School.

    But this year will be a year of change for the district, as the last of its appointed members are faced with a decision to run for election or not, and the district seeks a new Superintendent, just their third in 35 years.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Being a cab driver can be a dangerous job, especially in New Brunswick.

    A driver behind the wheel of All Brunswick Taxi #38 found himself in a frightening situation on Wednesday night after two men he was driving led him to a relatively secluded Second Ward neighborhood and assaulted him in his own vehicle.

    Rutgers University Police did not issue a "crime alert" despite the severity of the crime and its proximity to campus.  Conger Avenue runs parallel to the Cook campus, just 100 feet to the Northwest.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Unlike the area of New Brunswick fortunate enough to be located near Rutgers University campuses, dangerous and serious crimes that occur outside of those areas do not typically result in official notifications to the public.

    As we reported, authorities at the Rutgers University Police Department claim to issue campuswide alerts for all serious crimes in some parts of the city, but other neighborhoods don't get the same treatment from the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In a meeting that is open to the public, one of New Brunswick's little-known boards will hold its first official hearing in over two decades, perhaps the first in history.

    Tonight's Board of Ethics meeting will be held on the top floor of City Hall, 78 Bayard Street, at 7pm.  The hearing will end at 8:30pm, according to the board.

    New Brunswick has had an Ethics Board since at least 1991, when the state enacted the Local Government Ethics Law, though other information suggests it pre-dates it.

  • Photo Credit: News12 NJ

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Shareef Holder, a 29-year-old city resident, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and heroin possession, with intent to distribute it.

    Holder took a bad situation and made it worse when he crashed into a car on Van Dyke Avenue and then tried to drive away from the scene.

    The initial crash happened between 9pm an 10pm on September 28, 2013.  What happened next ended up taking an innocent person's life and damaging several more vehicles.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ—The Middlesex County government is made up of numerous and sometimes nebulous agencies that manage the various sectors of the county government responsibilities.

    Of them, the Board of Chosen Freeholders, or "Freeholders," for short, is only board that is directly elected by the people of the county.

    The seven-member board host three or four public meetings each month, making for a total of 45 such gatherings in 2015. All but one of the meetings are held in downtown New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—TK Shamy, a lawyer who has worked for the city for more than 25 years, and has run the city's Democratic Party organization for the past eight years, has assumed the top attorney position in city government.

    A press release came shortly after the City Council approved the promotion, putting Shamy in charge of the city's Law Department at the request of Mayor James Cahill, a 24-year incumbent and practicing attorney.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police announced they apprehended two individuals in a December 27 streetfight involving guns, knives, and bats on French Street, and days later charged them with a shooting that injured one man on Livingston Avenue on December 24.

    Meanwhile, a man who escaped injury in that shooting, has been charged with another shooting incident from four months ago, that left a man shot in the abdomen outside a city motel.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police in the Hub City announced they are investigating yet another shooting incident, the second in as many days.  Both cases are unsolved and police are seeking the public's help.

    This time no one was hit, but a parked 2004 silver Mercedes was hit with two gunshots, according to authorities.

    According to a NBPD press release touting recent arrests in unrelated incidents, police said they are looking into a reported "shots fired" incident around 9pm on January 6.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The houses at 17 and 29 Mine Street, and a garage between them, are slated to be demolished this month, according to activist Jennifer O' Neill, who has been fighting plans for a 52-unit apartment complex in the same location.

    On August 8, the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office deemed the three-block street eligible for a historic district designation.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (1/7): Police confirmed the incident and identified the victim as 26-year-old German Flores-Peres, of New Brunswick.  Flores-Peres was shot in the shoulder and in stable condition at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, police said.

    "Video surveillance shows the victim being chased by a suspect who then flees the area in a dark colored vehicle. The preliminary investigation suggests the assault stems from an ongoing domestic issue amongst family members," reads the police statement.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's five-member City Council will meet just twice per month for most of 2015, and three times in December.

    Years earlier, the Council downsized from four meetings per month, over the objections of residents.

    The meetings are usually on Wednesdays and items to be voted on at each meeting are listed on the agenda, which is typically posted to the city website by the Friday before the meeting.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rumor has it that Kevin Egan, a union official with the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 456, will serve as the City Council President in 2015.

    Though Egan made repeated references to his becoming President of the five-member City Council in December, both he and the woman he would replace, his running mate Rebecca Escobar, would not confirm this after they were both sworn into a second term on January 2.

    "We haven't even talked about that yet," said Escobar.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police are investigating an armed robbery reported at a plastic supply company on Seaman Street on the evening of January 3.

    According to police radio transmissions, dispatchers received a call at about 6:40pm reporting the robbery, which involved a gun being displayed, at a business called General Plastic Supply.

    Police said the robbery call had something in common with another recent incident.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating a robbery and stabbing that occurred underneath the railroad overpass at Suydam Street shortly after 5pm on January 1.

    The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) first responded to the reports of a "man down" at the corner of Suydam Street and Joyce Kilmer Avenue, where a passerby spotted the fallen man bleeding and called authorities.

    Police on the scene said the victim sufferred "very large wounds" from a stabbing in the lower back.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As the city's Water Utility works to restore its reputation after a costly coverup, changes being implemented are also proving to be costly, and that cost is now being passed on to businesses and residents in the city, as well as Milltown and Franklin.

    After being charged with filing falsified reports to cover up situations where people should have been alerted to boil their tap water on seven occasions, the city borrowed more than $6 million, and put the Water Utility under a controversial privatization agreement.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Christmas morning is often spent with loved ones enjoying fun surprises, but the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) says it was quite the opposite for many car-owners in the areas of Hiram Square, Riverside, and 33 Commercial  Avenue.

    There, about 25 residents or visitors were in for a nasty surprise when they went to their cars for the first time on the holiday, according to the city.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The county is buying an aging parking deck for $4.75 million from the New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA), in an attempt to turn it into a downtown park.

    NBPA officials said that the county was eager to close the deal on the 525-car parking garage by January 1, and other sources confirm the deck will close for good on February 1.

    "Work to build a new County Park will commence in the latter half of 2015 and extend through 2016," said county spokeswoman Stacey Bersani.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (3:40PM): A statement "from the Desk of Freeholder Charles Tomaro" confirms that the Freeholder "broke his left femur on Dec. 26 when he made a misstep while carrying chairs down the basement stairs at relative’s home and tumbled onto a concrete floor.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the first time in four years, New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill intends to give a speech detailing the "State of the City," an act that was once an annual tradition but faded away during his sixth term in office.

    The speech will follow Cahill's "swearing in" ceremony, currently scheduled for 11:30am on the top floor of City Hall at 78 Bayard Street. The ceremony is open to the public.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Middlesex County Superior Court Judge  Bradley Ferencz is preparing to retire from his powerful position, having served as Presiding Judge of Criminal Division since 2011.

    One of Ferencz's clerks confirmed to New Brunswick Today that the judge's last "work day" will be January 16, and he will be officially retiring at the end of January.

    Ferencz, an East Brunswick resident, earns a $165,000 annual salary as a judge, and has been enrolled in the state pension system since 1997.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's police department has opted to pay $75,000 to a man who sued them after the department wrongly arrrested and imprisoned him for nearly a year.

    Jose Granados-Joya alleged in a lawsuit that officers arrested twice as many people as they should have after a fight in February 2011, and gave false testimony to a grand jury later that year, keeping him in prison for eleven months.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Superior Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the City of New Brunswick, forcing the city's cops to stop enforcing two ordinances against panhandling.

    The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by John Fleming, a 50-year-old man who often holds up a sign asking for money on George Street.

    "John Fleming may be homeless, but he's not hopeless or helpless in his battle against the begging ban in New Brunswick," said NJTV reporter Michael Hill.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    EDISON, NJ—Located just a quarter-mile south of the county's much-touted "greenway," a new natural gas pipeline built by Houston-based U.S. Pipeline (USPL), Inc. is disturbing sixteen acres of land in Edison and Woodbridge.

    But it appears the project's supporters may have forgotten the lessons of an infamous and devastating gas explosion that struck Edison twenty years ago, and ignored the spirit of a township ordinance meant to keep pipelines from running near homes and other buildings.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UDPATE (12/30): New Brunswick Today's free print edition is now available at two additional locations in the city, Feaster Park (Throop Avenue & Handy Street), and Joyce Kilmer Park (Joyce Kilmer Avenue & Comstock Street).

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Today, the city's only bilingual newspaper, is now available 24 h0urs a day, seven days a week at several locations throughout the city.

  • Photo Credit: DEVCO

    ATLANTIC CITY, NJ—A committee created by Governor Chris Christie to explore ways to revitalize the struggling economy of this city has recommended the creation of a private non-profit development corporation similar to the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO).

    (DEVCO)
  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Police video of the November 21 traffic stop and DWI arrest of McKinley Community School Vice Principal Lester Voorhees shows that he repeatedly mentioned his position to officers who had pulled him over.

    "I work at a school.  I'm the Vice Principal," Voorhees told Officers Matt Ganzer and Rodney Tillery two minutes into the stop.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    DETROIT, MI--Rutgers University's football team is bowl-bound for the fourth consecutive year, as the Scarlet Knights will face the University of North Carolina in the first-ever Quick Lane Bowl on December 26.

    In their first year since making the switch to the Big Ten athletic conference, Rutgers will once again be playing in a postseason bowl game.

    While the stakes are not particularly high in this year's final matchup, the game does provide the team's graduating seniors one more chance to play football on national television.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police responded to reports of a shooting outside of a bar at the corner of High Street and Hamilton Street, shortly after 2am this morning.

    "We got [shell] casings in the roadway here," said an NBPD officer who arrived quickly on scene.

    Because the incident occurred along the border between the Fifth and Sixth Wards of the city, just blocks away from the Rutgers campus in a student-dominated neighborhood, Rutgers Police issued a "crime alert," the sixteenth such alert of the semester.

    (Police)