NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two men had their lives taken during just one week in the Hub City, but most people in town are still unaware that either situation is being pursued as a murder case by investigators.

The city had gone a little over five months without a killing, but that all changed with two recent tragedies that played out here during the same week.

In one case, an older man's life was cut short by a chance encounter that quickly led to violence in the middle of downtown New Brunswick's main street.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Claribel "Clary" Azcona-Barber, a close ally and staffer for longtime New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, was approved as the new countywide candidate for the Democratic political machine on March 11.

The choice was made by an unknown number of individuals who gathered at the Middlesex County College and voted on who should replace New Brunswick's longtime Freeholder Blanquita Valenti behind closed doors.

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—The East Brunswick Planning Board is preparing to vote on a proposal to build several buildings, including a Chase Bank and a CVS Pharmacy, at the corner of Summerhill Road and Old Stage Road.

The plans, which also include 96 apartments, have drawn controversy and some of the board's hearings were moved to the Hammarskjord Middle School’s Jo Ann Magistro Performing Arts Center due to overwhelming public interest.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two political candidates, one from New Brunswick and the other from Perth Amboy, are competing to secure the best possible path to joining the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The Democratic Party's choices have won every countywide election since the 1990's, so the team that wins their coveted "party line" endorsement will be heavily favored to prevail in the subsequent June and November elections.

CRANBURY, NJ—According to public records, the Township's Recreation Department appears to have illegally underpaid as many as 46 employees since 2006.

Counselors for the department's summer camp program were paid at rates as low as $3 per hour, in violation of the minimum wage set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Municipal officials defended their practices, which records show have been in place for many years.  But attorneys for the Township have been unwilling to back them up.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police Director Anthony "Tony" Caputo is now set to sit on the board that runs the city's powerful Parking Authority through 2023.

At Mayor James Cahill's request, the City Council consented to the five-year appointment in his absence.

Caputo is perhaps the city's most elusive public official, the only department head in Cahill's cabinet that consistently does not attend the Council's meetings.