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.

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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)
  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It has been our pleasure to cover the news in the Hub City city for the past three years.

    What started as a humble e-mail newsletter called "The Message" morphed into a robust and trusted source of news in our community.

    In the past three years, we have grown from a small website with two volunteers to a full-fledged print and online community news operation, publishing articles in both English and Spanish and employing nearly 30 reporters.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Rutgers Chancellor Richard Edwards announced the death of a Rutgers student, Neha Musipatla, who graduated from Piscataway High School just six months ago.

    Musipatla passed away Monday evening, according to a campuswide email sent by Edwards at 3:16pm today,

    Musipatla was a first-year student in the School of Arts and Sciences and a resident of Piscataway Township.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County Freeholders were not aware of the salary of their top attorney Thomas Kelso, but the board was still ready to grant him another three years as the county government's top attorney  at their December 4 meeting.

    Kelso, a close political ally of former New Brunswick Mayor John Lynch Jr., was re-appointed to another three-year term in the powerful position of "County Counsel."

  • Photo Credit: Victor Gatica

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Tensions ran high on Friday as protest organizers steered a crowd of well over 100 people onto Route 18, the city's main artery, taking a historic stand against racism and the lack of accountability for police killings across the country.

    The protest had the same beginning and ending points as one held two weeks earlier, but took a more circuitous route through much more of the city, including several stoppages of traffic.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In September and October, the city's police department received more than $243,000 worth of equipment from the US Department of Defense, according to records made public by NJ.com.

    Captain JT Miller, the spokesperson for the New Brunswick Police Department, confirmed that the city received a six-wheel-drive "utility truck/van."  According to the records, the turck is valued at $111,395.

  • Photo Credit: Township of Edison

    EDISON, NJ—In a bizarre proceeding held largely in secret, a majority of the Township's Ethics Board came to the conclusion that Mayor Thomas Lankey had violated the state's ethics law.

    The board met privately for over an hour before taking a surprising 4-0 vote that Lankey had violated the law by accepting free legal representation from the town's official attorney in a personal matter.

    But by a 5-1 vote, the board also opted not to fine Lankey, a part-time mayor who also works at JFK Hospital.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK—A 35-year-old man from Ward Street died  on November 21 after being physically restrained by his family and city police officers, while going through what authorities described as “emotional distress.”

    Just over seventeen hours after Saiseram Somwar's death, the office of Middlesex Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey released a statement saying their investigation "determined police acted properly during their response to the family emergency."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman from Trenton was shot on Seaman Street in the city's Fourth Ward around 4:15pm on Monday, November 24, making her the second victim of a shooting on that block this year.

    Today, a full week after the shooting, police announced the details of the incident, and a subsequent raid, for the first time.

    Police identified 24-year-old Brittney Holt as the sole victim of the shooting.  Holt was shot in the head but remains in stable condition, according to a New Brunswick Police Department statement.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Mike Mahony, the city's former Chief Housing Inspector, pleaded guilty to possession "with intent to distribute" less than a half an ounce of cocaine on November 17.

    According to the Attorney General's Office, Mahony agreed to plead guilty to a charge of "third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One week ago, county officials said, "The County OEM received a request from Rutgers Fire Department on Nov. 1 for use of the medical bus."

    Rutgers' response to that statement was simple: "There is no Rutgers University Fire Department."

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Less than 24 hours after New Brunswick Police Department promoted five officers, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office was not to be outdone.

    Sheriff Mildred Scott promoted six officers in total during a ceremony in courtroom #201 of the Middlesex County Courthouse on November 26.

    Unlike New Brunswick Police Department's promotion ceremony, this one was open to the press and the public.

  • Photo Credit: Jonathan Gulo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hundreds of students, faculty, and community members rallied and marched across the city on November 25, in response to the decision of a St. Louis County, Missouri grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

    City officials estimate there were some 400 protestors, while organizers said there were more than 500 present for the march down George Street.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather advisory for Middlesex County until 10pm after a winter storm struck the area this morning.

    "A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow... sleet... or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties," reads the advisory.  "Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities.... And use caution while driving."

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's 126-member police department is a little more top-heavy after five promotions made today in a closed ceremony at City Hall.

    As we reported earlier this year, the New Brunswick Police Department already had six lieutenants and sixteen seargents, all of whom make salaries in excess of $111,000.

    Above them are three captains and the department's Civilian Director, Anthony Caputo.

    (Police)
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    UPDATE (7:00PM): "Vanessa Perez-Bautista has been located," said NBPD Captain JT Miller.  "The New Brunswick Police Department would like to thank everyone for their help and support."

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 12-year-old girl, Vanessa Perez-Bautista, of Townsend Street in the Second Ward.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On November 17, under questionable circumstances, Middlesex County's Freeholder Board took an $8 million vote to close down a historic healthcare facility that the county has run for 78 years.

    Typically, the seven-member Freeholder board holds agenda sessions on Mondays and then regular, televised meetings on Thursdays.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the eight time this year, New Brunswick's Planning Board is scheduled to hear plans to build a large new apartment building on Mine Street.

    Initially, plans were delayed due to a developer's miscalculation computing the number of parking spaces required, greatly downplaying the significance of a required parking variance.

    The plans call for the demolition of two homes that were once the Rutgers Catholic Center, and to replace them with a four-story apartment building with 66 bedrooms.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On November 5, an activist known for his sharp criticisms at City Council meetings directed a derogatory ethnic slur at the Council President, a Latina woman, just after boasting about an award he received from a city-based Latino organization.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A Rutgers student reported he was restrained with a baseball bat while laptops were stolen from his residence on Stone Street near College Avenue.

    The call came into police at 7:20pm on Friday night, about fifteen minutes after the robbery allegedly occurred.

    It sparked the eleventh university crime alert since October 7, though New Brunswick Today has shown many seemingly serious crimes are not reported through the system.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A new policy set to be implemented by the Rutgers-New Brunswick library system would require library users to present a Rutgers ID card beginning at 10pm each night, effective November 16.

    But the policy has some saying it will leave the city's homeless community out in the cold, at a time when shelters are not available.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On Wednesday, November 5, the city's Latino community came out in full force to attend a City Council hearing on a resolution calling on New Jersey's government to issue "driving privilege cards" to undocumented residents.

    The massive turnout, which rivaled the largest crowds ever to attend a New Brunswick City Council meeting, was organized by Faith in New Jersey, a multi-racial and multi-faith network working to advance a "social justice agenda."

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    UPDATE (11:34PM): Rutgers Police announced that 19-year-old Danwitt D. Jean-Baptiste, of Roselle, has been arrested and charged with one count of criminal sexual contact in this case.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—According to a Rutgers crime alert, a female student reported being approached by an unknown man while walking on College Avenue between Hamilton Street and Seminary Place at approximately 2pm on November 10 .

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials confirmed an assault and attempted robbery took place at approximately 7:22pm on Sunday, November 9, in the city's Second Ward.

    Sources in the community said the incident occurred where a streetlight is out on Lee Avenue between Baldwin and Hale Streets.

  • Photo Credit: RUPD/NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick City Hall announced the arrest of a juvenile for a robbery in downtown on Friday, saying it was connected to previous incidents.

    "During the investigation, the suspect was found by police to be in possession of property taken from victims in two separate robbery incidents reported over the past month," read a press release issued by city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw, rather than the city's police department.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—From June through August, there were only five crimes that the Rutgers University Police Department reported to students through their recently overhauled campuswide notification program.

    But the crime alerts are coming in much more frequently now.  In the past week alone, students and other community members have been alerted to three different armed robbery attempts in the same general area. And it's not clear how many other similar situations have not generated crime alerts.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Not much is known about the man who was scheduled to take over as New Brunswick's Water Utility Director this week.

    All five of the City Council's members admitted they had never met or spoken with Alexei Walus, who previously worked at the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority.

    But that did not stop the Council from approving him as the city's next Water Director at their October 15 public meeting.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    UPDATE (11/5): Herbert Gross did better than expected in yesterday's election, coming in second place, but Gayle Brill Mittler dominated with 71.5% of votes cast on Election Day.

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—While New Brunswickers are looking at ballots with only one candidate for Mayor in today's election, Highland Park residents have three choices to pick from.

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    NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ--North Brunswick police confirmed that they investigated "numerous shots being fired" in a "road rage incident" in the area of How Lane and Route 27 shortly after 2am on Saturday November 1.

    No one was injured, but two men from out of state were arrested in the case.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Halloween night fell on a Friday this year, casting a spell that negatively impacted public safety as large crowds roamed the streets of New Brunswick, and a number of  alcohol overdoses overwhelmed hospitals and ambulance services near the main campus of Rutgers University.

    It was not uncommon to hear reports of unconscious, and sometimes bleeding individuals, lying somewhere in New Brunswick or Piscataway, where Rutgers hosts five different campuses, waiting for an ambulance.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On October 2, Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios gave the annual "State of the County" address.

    Among the highlights are two plans for housing in Edison, the county's largest municipality.

    The first is a plan for 30 units of veteran's housing in a project that is already under construction in Edison, known as the Kilmer Homes.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (11/5): All four ballot questions passed in their respective areas (county and statewide).  New Brunswick voters also overwhelmingly approved all of the questions.  State Question Number 1 was the closest, but that won 1,101-785 in the Hub City.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Middlesex County voters will be presented with four ballot questions in the November 4 general election that pose possible policy changes to pretrial detention, environmental preservation, cultural arts support, and women's health programs.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Another one of the top leaders in the city's non-profit community is leaving their position, as Jeffrey Vega announced his departure as President of New Brunswick Tomorrow, a post he has held for fourteen years.

    Vega, a 47-year-old resident of Monroe Township has run the non-profit since 2000, having worked there since 1993.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two victims of a recent shooting, and their family members, are taking issue with public statements made by New Brunswick Police that indicated they were involved in an "ongoing dispute" with their shooter, who remains unidentified.

    Brothers Ryan Howard and Ricky Drake say they were surprised to see that the police released their names, but still have not identified the shooter publicly.

    "There's no suspects," said Howard.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials say they are close to a deal that would bring another supermarket to the downtown space that was once occupied by the short-lived FreshGrocer.

    New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) Executive Director Mitch Karon confirmed his agency was "in negotiations" with a supermarket operator to replace the FreshGrocer, which closed down in May.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    UPDATE (10/27): City police identified the victims of the shooting as Ricky Drake (30 years of age from Piscataway) and Ryan Howard (24 years of age from New Brunswick).  Both were taken to a hospital and treated for gunshot wounds to the leg.

    "The initial police investigation suggests this shooting stems from an ongoing dispute between the victims, an acquaintance and the shooter," reads the official police statement.

    (Police)
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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Authorities identified a  body found in the Hudson River, and determined that it belonged to a 20-year-old Rutgers student named Paul J. Kim.

    On the morning on Tuesday, October 21, passersby reported Kim's bicycle had been abandoned along the George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee and Manhattan.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Longtime Congressman Frank Pallone had cancelled a "town hall" planned for Thursday, October 23, at the regularly scheduled Rutgers student government meeting.

    The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) announced the cancellation in the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 22nd.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An investigation sparked by this newspaper's discovery of official New Brunswick police ticket books in a public garbage can has led to punishment for two city police officers, officials confirmed.

    "The tickets that Mr. Kratovil brought in were disposed in a garbage can and that was wrong, and those officers were disciplined for their actions," said New Brunswick Police Captain J.T. Miller, at the October 15 City Council meeting.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Just days after a man committed suicide by jumping off the Morris Goodkind Bridge, another man attempted to do the same from the parallel Donald Goodkind Bridge at approximately 10am this morning.

    But this man had a different fate.  He ended up surviving the jump and swimming to the shores of Edison Township.

    "We got a guy that just jumped off the bridge on Route 1," reported a dispatcher this morning on the police radio.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers officials have not responded to questions about a donation made to the school's women's tennis team earlier this year, at the same time hearings were scheduled on the plans for a controversial 57-unit apartment building on Mine Street.

    The donation came from by New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) President Chris Paladino, whose non-profit development firm owns the land in question.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police responded to a shooting in a home at the corner of Lee Avenue and Sandford Street, at approximately 7:52 pm this evening.

    A caller had reported one man was shot, but police could immediately locate the victim, who may have been in a pickup truck en route to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

    "We got a lot ofpeople screaming here.  There's a lot of blood, and we can't find the guy," said one of the first officers to arrive to the scene, inside the home at 143 Lee Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The police pursuit of a stolen car ended in a wreck and one man being arrested at the corner of George and Albany Streets at approximately 12:30pm.

    According to a police press release, 22-year-old Robert White Jr. was charged with eluding, assault by auto, receiving stolen property, and numerous motor vehicle violations.

    According to police radio transmissions, police were dispatched to respond to a report of a 2008 Kia Rondo being, "taken without consent by a male that goes by the name 'Tension.'"

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—And then there were seven.

    In the latest twist in the ongoing saga of a controversial plan for a new building on Mine Street, Planning Board member Andy Kaplan became the second board member to voluntarily recuse himself from involvement.

    Kaplan, who works for Rutgers University as a traffic safety engineer and lives in downtown New Brunswick, told the crowd at Tuesday's meeting he would "rather be safe than have folks argue about me in court."

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On October 3, the city's longtime Chief Housing Inspector resigned, after being suspended without pay for more than nine months following his arrest in a city vehicle that cops say contained a "distribution quantity" of cocaine.

    It was one of the most bizarre "only in New Brunswick" stories when it all went down, and it continues to be today.

    Just days before Christmas, Michael Mahony was allegedly caught using his city vehicle to transport as much as eleven ounces of cocaine, sources said.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—With Superintendent of Schools Richard Kaplan in his final year, the city's school board has hired a former appointee of ex-Governor James McGreevey to lead the district's search for a new superintendent.

    Tonight will be the second opportunity for residents, parents, students, or other concerned citizens to make their voices heard on what they want to see in the next leader in the auditorium at the Lord Stirling Community School on George Street, starting at 6:30pm tonight.

  • Photo Credit: Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

    FRANKLIN, NJ—Authorities have connected two crimes that occurred in quick succession, charging the 19-year-old victim of a stabbing with fatally shooting 17-year-old Joell Burton in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, on Route 27.

    Dequan S. Rogers, age 19, of Alcorne Street in Franklin Township, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, as well as possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a handgun, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—University officials confirmed they will move forward with plans for a parking deck near the nexus of Mine and Union Streets in the Hub City, and that at least one building will be torn down to accomodate the facility.

    Coincidentally, that building is home to the main offices of the official Rutgers student newspaper, The Daily Targum, which has the largest ciruculation of any newspaper based in New Brunswick.

    Last summer, Daily Targum leadership said they expected their building would be knocked down within a year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It all began more than five years ago when the Rutgers Catholic Center re-located from its Mine Street location to a brand-new building on Somerset Street.

    That move left two houses and a smaller building on Mine Street vacant.  Rutgers University purchased the properties, 17 and 29 Mine Street, for $1.85 million in 2008.

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    FRANKLIN, NJ—Authorities have not released any information on the shooting of a 17-year-old man near the border between Franklin Township and New Brunswick.

    News 12 New Jersey reported that the family of Joell Burton says the 17-year-old teenager was the victim of the incident, which occurred in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, located on Somerset Street.

  • Photo Credit: Construction Management Associates

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Gregg Mast, the President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, has not responded to multiple inquiries about a controversial proposed housing development scheduled for a hearing at tonight's New Brunswick Planning Board meeting.

    The meeting is scheduled for 7:30pm in the Middlesex County Administration Building, and renderings for the application are titled "New Brunswick Theological Seminary Housing."

  • Photo Credit: Beg 'n Bark Pet Sitting

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—A memorial for Caitlyn Kovacs, a Rutgers student who passed away last month, has been scheduled for Saturday, October 11, from 2-5pm at the Busch Campus Center on Bartholemew Road.

    Kovacs was a popular sophomore at Rutgers, pursuing a major in Animal Science, and also had many friends from her hometown of South Brunswick, where her parents reside in the Monmouth Junction section.

    Kovacs graduated from South Brunswick High School, where she was a journalist with the school newspaper, "The Viking Vibe."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--In a victory for citizens fighting against a controversial new building proposed for Mine Street, more than 130 people came to the August 12 Planning Board meeting, forcing officials to re-schedule it because the room was not large enough.

    It was second time in as many tries that the Planning Board hearing had to be cancelled by officials due to overcrowding.

    The meeting has since been re-scheduled for 7:30pm on October 14 in a larger venue: the Middlesex County Administration Building, at 75 Bayard Street.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A physical altercation in the city's Second Ward took a turn for the worst yesterday at approximately 7:45pm, leaving a 16-year-old child shot in the shoulder.

    Police responded to a home on Hale Street where they found the male victim, who had been shot nearly two blocks away near the intersection of Remsen Avenue and Baldwin Street.

    The victim lives in New Brunswick, and attends an an alternative school outside of the city, according to police.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police and emergency medical personnel responded to reports of a shooting at the Quentin Gardens Apartments at approximately 9pm on the evening of October 5.

    A male victim was found lying in the street, according to police radio transmissions.

    But officers on the scene weren't immediately sure if the victim was shot in the incident.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On the heels of an ethics complaint filed by the author of this article, the city's longtime Planning Board attorney has agreed to sit out an upcoming hearing on a controversial development application.

    Filed on August 20, the complaint alleges that Benjamin Bucca has improperly used his position as the Planning Board's attorney to favor his other employer, Rutgers University, where he serves as the womens' tennis coach.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A strong turnout from Franklin's Democratic Committee sent their Chairman to the State Assembly, in a vote between two relatively unknown politicians today at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

    Joseph Danielsen, a former Fire Commissioner and Planning Board member in Franklin Township, won a vote of the committee members who hail from his hometown, as well as those from New Brunswick, Milltown, Piscataway, and North Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Bridgeton Police Dept.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Further investigation into the murders of two men in Cumberland County has led to the arrests of three New Brunswick men and one Somerset man, and new charges for a man arrested last week and accused of running a human trafficking operation that exploited undocumented immigrants in a statewide network of prostitution houses.

  • Photo Credit: YouTube

    UPDATE (7:18PM): Rutgers University released the following statement from Senior VP Bruce Fehn: "In addition to serving as executive director of police services, Kenneth B. Cop will now oversee emergency management and emergency services operations for the university. He is replacing James E. Kohl in this role.... All other functions within Administration and Public Safety will report directly to me."

    "I would like to thank Jay for his nearly 15 years of service to Rutgers and wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors."

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two former city cops are out of a job for the second time in less than a year after their resignation from new civilian jobs they had taken too quickly after leaving their law enforcement positions.

    Michael Bacorn left his police officer job on December 1, one month before fellow New Brunswick officer Charles Savoth.

    Bacorn began collecting a pension that amounts to $90,711 per year, and Savoth began collecting a pension that adds up to $79,719.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Margaret Brennan, 68, a longtime employee of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA), was charged with stealing more than $57,000 from the agency over a three-year period.

    Brennan worked for the MCUA for 29 years, and according to published reports, earned an annual salary of $151,040.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A miniature park sprouted up in downtown on Friday September 20, spanning five spaces on Bayard Street and commemorating a holiday of sorts.

    The occasion was "PARK(ing) Day," on which people occupy parking spaces with temporary "parklets" in cities across the world.

    The PARK(ing) Day movement began with a parking space in San Francisco in 2005, and spread around the world by 2011. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In front of a packed courtroom, Judge Bradley Ferencz sentenced Ernie Feist to five years in jail for a drunk driving crash that injured multiple innocent people.

    Feist had pleaded guilty to three counts of assault by auto, but according to published reports, will be eligible for parole within a year or less because the charges are in the third and fourth degree.

    Feist had two public jobs, one with Monroe Township and the other with Perth Amboy, and also manages his own engineering firm, Feist Engineering.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At 10:20pm last night, New Brunswick police officers responded to the Tropicana Restaurant & Bar on Georges Road, after an officer called for assistance in responding to a "large fight and possible stabbing."

    According to a police press release, they arrived to find several people injured by others who were hit with broken glass bottles and one man chasing another with a knife in the parking lot.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    UPDATE (11:21 am): This article has been updated to include statements issued by the Rutgers President and the DKE International Fraternity.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A 19-year-old Rutgers sophomore died in the early morning hours of Sunday September 21, after being taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital from a fraternity house by friends.

    Caitlyn P. Kovacs, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, was pronounced dead at 3:19 am, according to a statement released by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick couple was arrested on September 18 for harboring undocumented immigrants and employing them in brothels located throughout New Jersey, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

    Juan Fredy Hernandez-Zozaya, 36, and his wife, Elizabeth Rojas Rojas, 33, are being charged with harboring aliens for the purpose of prostitution, and harboring aliens for the purpose of financial gain.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    TRENTON, NJ—One of New Brunswick's three elected representatives in Trenton could be leaving office soon if the State Senate approves a nomination made by Chris Christie.

    On September 18, Christie announced three nominations for Commissioners to serve on the state's Board of Public Utilities, including longtime Democratic Assemblyman Updendra Chivukula.

    The new job would include an annual salary increase for Chivukula, from the $49,000 earned by Assembly representatives, to the $125,000 paid to the BPU's commissioners.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE: The City Council voted 4-0 to approve the water privatization deal with NJ American Water, with Council President Rebecca Escobar abstaining because she was not aware that a vote would be held.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The City Council will again revisit a controversial deal made by Mayor James Cahill to privatize the management and day-to-day operations of the city's embattled Water Utility.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—Rutgers University Police arrested nine people for a slew of offenses during the course of the evening Saturday night, while Piscataway police arrested two more for disorderly conduct.

    It wasn't just any Saturday night, though.  It was the first-ever Big 10 football game for Rutgers University, and the first football game to sell out the stadium in years.

    Rutgers lost to Penn State 13-10, but the 8pm kickoff time led to many arrests before the game even started.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    PISCATAWAY, NJ—In a historic football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Penn State Nittany Lions, Penn State beat Rutgers 13-10 in front of a capacity crowd. 

    With 53,774 in attendance, the crowd was the largest in the history of the Rutgers football program, and the game was the first conference game since the school officially joined the Big Ten Athletic Conference.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials announced that their controversial plans to charge for parking in Buccleuch Park raised $3,540 last Saturday.

    But after paying city police and New Brunswick Parking Authority (NBPA) employees to enforce the new rules, the city netted just over $1,050. 

    The controversial plans were in the works for several months, but the first time the details were revealed came at the September 3 City Council meeting, just three days before the plans were put into effect.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Once foreclosed and abandoned, a property on Stratford Place in the city's Fourth Ward has been renovated and sold to a popular man affiliated with the city's non-profit sector who says he looks forward to raising his family in the Hub City.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--At 11:38pm last night, a marked police vehicle and another vehicle were involved in a bad crash in the city's First Ward that left one person trapped inside a totalled Nissan Altima.

    Police radio transmissions suggest the supervisor behind the wheel of NBPD unit #904, a Dodge Charger, and may have been en route to reports of a man with a gun, and subsequently reports of a man with a knife walking around in the Gardens at Raritan apartment complex.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: RUPD/NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two recent assaults in close proximity have raised questions about when Rutgers University police decide to notify the public of violent crimes near the school's campuses.

    On Friday morning, police radio transmissions described that a man was assaulted near the intersection of Hamilton and High Streets, the second assault on the same block in less than a week.

    Based on the police radio transmissions, this incident sounded far more serious than the assault that occurred four nights earlier.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City Council voted 3-0 on Wednesday to immediately raise the salary of the city's crossing guards, in response to a crash where Fire Director Robert Rawls seriously injured three children on their way home from school.

    Rawls was driving a city-owned SUV at the time, one of multiple city vehicles he has crashed and at one of at least nineteen crashes he has been involved in during his driving career.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Yesterday, a crowd gathered in front of one of the city's most historic churches to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in the building's life.

    After years of work on the part of domestic violence survivors and advocates, the historic First Reformed Church will soon be transformed into 10 units of supportive housing for female survivors of domestic violence.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city government is working to make the city safer for cyclists, says Planning Director Glenn Patterson.

    One component of Patterson's efforts is a new initative to install seven "bike corrals" throughout the city.

    The first one was installed near the Hidden Grounds coffee shop on Friday, at the intersection of Easton Avenue and Mine Street.

    One of the owners of Hidden Grounds said the installation was a welcome improvement, and one the small business requested previously.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In an effort to make Rutgers University's enrollment process more competitive and selective, University President Robert Barchi set out to shrink the size of this year's freshman class.

    But those efforts were surprisingly unsuccessful, leaving the state university with its largest incoming class yet.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Without proper approvals, the New Brunswick Parking Authority is already selling Rutgers football fans $23 gameday parking spots in Buccleuch Park, the city's largest park.

    Not only has the City Council not approved the deal, but the decision to start charging for parking there may be a risky one, due to a deed restriction that says the city "shall forfeit all rights to [Buccleuch Park]" if the premises are ever diverted towards any use besides a public park.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A 54-year-old city resident was seriously injured at approximately 4pm yesterday, when he rode his bike into an open car door in front of the Burger King on George Street, according to police.

    An unlicensed driver, 31-year-old Melvin Martinez-Romero, had pulled over his silver Toyota Camry to drop off a passenger when Adolfo Guzman struck the car door and received a laceration to his neck.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Mayor and Acting Water Director Jim Cahill was unusually dismissive of questions about an unpopular water privatization deal that officials originally said would expire last week.

    In July, New Brunswick Today exposed the secret privatization deal with NJ American Water, which was signed by Cahill without consulting the City Council, the public, or leaders in the two other communities who purchase water from the city.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--Local police are searching for three suspects in a violent slashing that occurred Sunday night around 11:20pm near the Hamilton Gardens Apartments, located at 300 Hamilton Street.

    The victim was slashed in the throat, according to police radio transmissions.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Wolfson Deck, one of the largest parking structures in downtown New Brunswick, could soon be converted into a small park and a new building, according to officials.

    Wolfson is the oldest of the New Brunswick Parking Authority's nine parking garages, located on Neilsen Street between New and George Streets.

    County officials announced plans for a small county "pocket park" earlier this year, which would be the first county park in New Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Mayor James Cahill has appointed a longtime business partner of his to become the city's Chief Municipal Judge for the next three years.

    James P. Hoebich also serves as municipal judge for at least two other Middlesex County municipalities, Piscataway and Sayreville, and has previously served as a judge in South Amboy.

    The New Brunswick City Council is set to vote Wednesday August 20 at 5:30pm on whether or not it would to approve Hoebich's judgeship, which would take effect on August 31.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city government, perhaps in a hunt for money to pay for numerous new parking decks paid for with borrowed money, approved a new charge for parking on College Avenue when Rutgers has home football games.

    Previously, parking on the main drag of the university was free on weekends.

    But, under the new ordinance, approved unanimously on August 6 by the City Council, the parking meters on College Avenue will now charge parkers a whopping $10, but that their parking space will be good for a full 24 hours.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On August 5, residents gathered at outdoor events across the city to build community and meet the officers who police their streets.

    The annual tradition, known as National Night Out, is an anti-crime event that takes place in many communities across the country on the first Tuesday in August.

  • Photo Credit: Richard Rabinowitz

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials have broken a promise to find a larger venue for tonight's Planning Board meeting on a controversial development project planned for Mine Street.

    The plans, which have been changed since the last time they were presented, call for a 52-unit apartment building on land that was once home to the Rutgers University Catholic Center.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Police Dept.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A seven-year veteran of the city's police force has been treated and released from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital following a harrowing experience.

    Officer Keven M. Hendricks was identified as the victim of the alleged "assault by auto," having been dragged from a vehicle by 24-year-old Somerset resident Donnell Cook for roughly 50 feet.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Fire Director Robert Rawls ascended through the ranks of the New Brunswick Fire Department to become its leader in 2006, despite a serious red flag that would have kept most people out of higher office.

    Six days before Christmas in 1989, while Rawls was a firefighter, he was involved in an incident and later convicted of shoplifting and two counts of simple assault.

  • Photo Credit: Erin Wronko

    HELMETTA, NJ—Richard Recine resigned from the Helmetta police force this week, after a bizarre ordeal where he and the town's Police Director Robert Manney forced a citizen to leave a public building.

    A video of the incident has sparked a controversy that put the tiniest town in Middlesex County in the national spotlight, attracting attention from online media outlets and outrage about the cross-over between politics and policework.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An unidentified city police officer was injured after being dragged 50 feet by a motor vehicle shortly after 2:30am this morning.

    Police arrested 24-year-old Donnell Cook after a chase that ended in a crash with a parked vehicle, and left the officer in Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital.

    "The officer sustained multiple broken bones, abrasions and internal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle incident," reads the official press release.

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--At 2:25am yesterday morning, four parked vehicles sustained damage after gunshots rang out in the New Brunswick Apartments, a garden apartment complex  located in the city's First Ward.

    Officially located at 33 Commercial Avenue, the apartment complex has 206 units spread across 15 buildings, making it the sixth-largest private apartment complex in the city.

    The incident is at least the second shooting shooting incident in the complex in as many weeks. 

    (Police)
  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (5:39PM): This article has been updated to include the identities of the victims and additional information about the incidents. 

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Summertime is usually quiet in the city's Sixth Ward neighborhood, a unique area that is typically dominated by college student renters during the rest of the year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On the morning of July 20, a city police officer was alerted to a nearby stolen vehicle thanks to a technological tool that is becoming more and more common in law enforcement.

    At approximately 8:40 am, the license plate readers on an unmarked city cop car told Officer Adan Ramirez that he was in the vicinity of a 2000 Lexus 300 that had been reported stolen the previous day.  That occurred near the intersection of Livingston Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

    (Police)