PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A jury seated at the Middlesex County Courthouse decided on September 20 that former Perth Amboy Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz is not guilty of official misconduct, theft of services, and witness tampering.

Ruiz was potentially facing 5 to 10 years in prison over the allegations that he had gotten police department mechanics to make repairs and enhancements to his private vehicles.  He also faced charges he tried to get a potential witness to alter his side of the story.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Jersey Film Festival, a bi-annual event at Rutgers University, will feature a total of 35 film screenings to celebrate their 35th anniversary this fall.

The lineup includes international films, American independent features, shorts, animated films, experimental subjects and informative documentaries between September 17 and Friday October 28.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–The county government announced that a raccoon found in the city's Fifth Ward tested positive for rabies, the first rabid animal found in New Brunswick this year.

"On Saturday, September 17, 2016, the Animal Control Officer for New Brunswick responded to a call concerning a raccoon that was found to be acting strangely in the vicinity of Laurel Place and Somerset Street," reads the announcement from the Middlesex County Office of Health Services.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A developer is moving forward with its plans to erect a 16-unit apartment building on the site of the former rectory of the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church on Maple Street.

The 2.5-story house was recently demolished and will soon be replaced by the new development being undertaken by Construction Management Associates, also known as Premiere Properties.

The site is 75 feet wide by 200 feet long, and stretches between Maple and Freeman Streets, just off of Somerset Street in the Fifth Ward.

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EDISON, NJ—Four Edison police officers, including a Sergeant, resigned and agreed to never hold public jobs in New Jersey ever again as part of a guilty plea in Superior Court.

At the time the agreement was reached, jury selection was underway for a trial that was sure to attract a lot of publicity.

The guilty quartet includes Michael Dotro, the troubled 36-year-old Edison police officer who lives in Manalapan, and has been accused of igniting a bomb outside the Monroe Township home of one of his bosses in a separate case.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Hub City healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said on September 16 it will spend $4.33 billion in cash to acquire Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), based in Santa Ana, California.

J&J said the deal will help “strengthen global leadership in eye health adding cataract and refractive eye surgery to [our] vision care” holdings and consumer eye health units.

The investment will include eye care products in cataract surgery, laser refractive surgery and consumer eye health, said J&J.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 38-year-old Franklin Township business owner was arrested and charged with "sex crimes" in Edison and in New Brunswick, as well as for "computer theft," according to a press release issued on September 16.

Thomas Canales was arrested at his South Lawrence Avenue home in the Somerset section of Franklin Township on September 1.

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