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Category: News

Around Town

Belleville 

Belleville UNICO sponsors a bus ride fundraiser to the Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, Sunday, July 27. Cost is $30 prepaid or $35 the day of the trip. The bus will leave at 8:50 a.m. from the Senior Citizens Center, 125 Franklin Ave. A continental breakfast will be served at the center at 8 a.m. Call 973-759-9259 to reserve seats. (No last minute cancellations.) Mail checks, payable to Belleville UNICO, to: Gene Antonio, 436 Joralemon St., Belleville, N.J. 07109.

A Polka Dot dance party is set for Aug. 4 and a balloon making workshop for ages 8 and up is scheduled for Aug. 11 as part of Belleville Public Library and Information Center’s Eight Great Live Monday Nights series at 221 Washington Ave. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, there will be a new show every Monday night during July and August at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. Call 973-450-3434. These programs are for the entire family, unless otherwise noted.

Bloomfield 

Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., announces a trip to Caesar’s Casino, Atlantic City. The bus leaves Oakeside Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m., and will return at 5:30 p.m. The $30 cost includes roundtrip bus transportation and $25 in slot play at the casino.

Reservations are required and must be paid within five days of booking to ensure a place.

There are no refunds on paid reservations. Call Oakeside at 973-429-0960 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The Essex County SummerMusic Concert Series presents “Shadows of the ‘60s” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 25, at Brookdale Park. The tribute production show features music of the Four Tops, the Temptations and the Supremes. Admission is free. In another upcoming show, Tony Scally and Jazzmataz will be featured Tuesday, July 29, in a 7 p.m. concert at Watsessing Park. For more information, call 973‑239-2485.

East Newark 

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets on the last Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. The group provides an atmosphere of warmth and comfort for patients and family. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa 201-246- 7750, Fatima 973-485-4236 or email emidura2@yahoo.com. Together we will fight this disease.

Harrison 

The Town of Harrison sponsors a blood drive Wednesday, July 23, 2 to 6 p.m., at the Harrison Recreation Center, 401 Warren St., in the gymnasium. All donors who register July 21-27 will be entered to win one of 10 $25 ShopRite gift cards. Winners will be announced July 29. Donors must weigh at least 120 pounds, know their Social Security number, bring a photo or signed ID, eat a meal and drink plenty of water prior to donation.

Kearny 

Mary’s Traveling Seniors sponsors a five-day, four-night trip to Wildwood, Sept. 14 to 18. Final payment is due by Aug. 1. Price includes transportation, accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, entertainment, dolphin watch cruise, a visit to Cape May and Atlantic City. Cost for double occupancy is $482 and single is $90 additional. Deposit of $150 per person is required. For reservations and more information, call Mary at 201-998-1030.

Lyndhurst 

Join Special Angels Recreation, an organization for special needs children, as they take on the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad in a kickball game Aug. 16, at 9 a.m., at the Lyndhurst Little League field on Riverside Ave. After the game there will be fun activities for all. For more information or to learn how to participate, call 201-804- 2469 or email recruitment@emergencysquad.com.

The Lyndhurst Health Department is collecting donations for students in need. Items welcomed include backpacks, marble composition books, notebooks, dividers, loose paper, crayons, and 3-ring binders. Donations can be dropped off, prior to Aug. 31, at the Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. People with children in need of school supplies are asked to contact the Health Department at 201-804-2500 to schedule a pick-up of the needed supplies. Be prepared to give the child’s gender and grade level.

The Children’s Room at Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts these events:

• Crazy scientist Brian Richards will introduce amazing experiments on Wednesday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m. The program is recommended for ages 3 and up.

• Children in pre-k to grade 8 discover more about making bubbles and get to stand inside one of their own Monday, July 28, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration is required for both events. Call the library at 201-804-2478 to register. Seniors are welcome to register for the following two programs hosted by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Registration is recommended for both. Call 201- 777-2431 to register.

• “Seeing the Light,” a brief history of New Jersey’s lighthouses and the U.S. Life- Saving Service, is offered by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Instructor Chet Nesley Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m., at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park.

• Grab a partner and dance the way folks did in the late 19th century at a free barn dance on Thursday, July 31, at 7 p.m. at River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. Carpooling is recommended since parking is limited.

• “Nature Draws Itself and Other Works of Art,” a digital illustration exhibit by Lyndhurst artist E. Jessie Monaco, will be on display from Monday, Aug. 4, through Thursday, Sept. 25, at NJMC’s Flyway Gallery in the Meadowlands Environment Center in DeKorte Park.

The Flyway Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. Directions to DeKorte Park can be found in the “About the NJMC” section of the Commission’s website, www.njmeadowlands.gov, or by calling 201-777-2431.

North Arlington 

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, presents a lecture by Civil War expert Bill Gent on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, July 30, at 1 p.m.

Borough residents are invited to a free outdoor concert featuring the Duprees set for Aug. 6 at Riverside County Park at 7 p.m. This concert is co-sponsored by the Borough Recreation Department and Inserra ShopRite.

Food vendors will be available at the park. Residents are advised to bring their own lawn chairs.

The Duprees are known for their romantic interpretations of some of the most popular songs from the ’50’s and ’60s.

Nutley 

Join Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, for the following programs:

• Movie and Craft: Children of all ages are invited to the library on Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m. to make a “Muppets Most Wanted” movie-themed craft. Children can stop by the library and make crafts while supplies last. • Science Workshop: “Kitchen Science” — recommended for ages 8 and up – is set for Wednesday, July 30, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

• Essex County Environmental Workshop: “Soda Bubbles,” open to children ages 7 to 10, is set for Thursday, July 31, at 11 a.m. Registration is required. It’s open to Nutley Library patrons only.

• Science Workshop: “Weather Science,” recommended for ages 8 and up, is offered Thursday, July 31, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required for this program which is open to Nutley

Bank suspect nabbed

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KEARNY – 

Less than a week after the robbery of a PNC bank in Kearny, the suspect in the holdup was in custody, arrested when he showed up for a court appearance in Passaic, Kearny Police Chief John Dowie reported.

Carnie Monts, 28, of Paterson, was booked at KPD headquarters last Monday, July 14, and was transported to the Hudson County Jail, where he was being held on $100,000 bail.

According to police, Monts held up the bank, at the corner of Kearny and Midland Aves., at about 2:30 p.m. on July 9. He allegedly warned a teller that he had a weapon, but none was shown.

Police said Monts fled on foot after being given approximately $3,000. A search of the surrounding area proved fruitless, but the suspect was soon identified thanks to a joint investigation by the Kearny and North Arlington police, the FBI and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, authorities said.

Officers began tracking him, including visiting his home in Paterson. They later developed information that Monts was due to appear in court in Passaic on the morning of July 14 on an unrelated matter, and Kearny Det. Mike Gonzalez and FBI agents were there to arrest him, Dowie said.

– Karen Zautyk 

News from the Nutley police blotter

July 12 

A motor vehicle stop on Washington Ave., at 3:59 a.m., led to the arrest of James Washington, 38, of Irvington, for two active warrants from Newark and Irvington. He was also ticketed for driving with unsafe tires. Washington was turned over to Irvington PD after failing to post bail.

At 9:22 a.m., a Park Ave. business reported that one of its delivery trucks was found with the gas tank open and about half a tank of gas syphoned out. Nothing was taken from inside the truck, police said.

At 10:29 a.m., headquarters received a report of a van stolen from an Essex St. location. The owner told police the van was parked in their driveway overnight, but, upon leaving for work in the morning, it was gone, along with $9,000 worth of tools inside. An investigation is continuing.

At 10:34 p.m., a Columbia Ave. resident reported that a large tree branch from private property had fallen onto the front of their truck, causing an unestimated amount of damage.

July 13 

A Paterson man was arrested, at 1:50 a.m., after police pulled over the car he was driving on Webster St. Police charged Ruben Cordova, 23, with driving while intoxicated, loud muffler and failure to provide registration. He was released pending a court appearance.

At 12:20 p.m., police responded to a River Road location on a report of burglary. Police said the homeowner told them a cordless hedge trimmer and several other items had been removed from a shed. Police said they found no sign of forced entry. Detectives are investigating.

July 14 

At 1:49 p.m., a Franklin Ave. business owner reported a theft. The owner told police that four males began trying on several articles of clothing and, according to police, one is seen on the store’s security tape placing new sneakers on his feet, placing the old sneakers under a couch, and then walking out of the store. The owner told police that several T-shirts and hats, valued at about $200, were also missing. Detectives are investigating.

At 5:21 p.m., police arrested Kevin Moran, 29, of East Rutherford, at a Bloomfield Ave. location after learning he was wanted on a warrant from Wallington and turned him over to Wallington PD.

July 15 

A multiple burglary suspect arrested the week prior has been linked to another crime. Police said they found a GPS unit valued at $250 that was believed to have stolen from a resident’s vehicle on the suspect, William Lanzo, 40, of Newark. Lanzo, being held at the Essex County Jail, will be charged with additional complaints for burglary and theft, police said.

July 16 

At 4 p.m., an Ackerman St. resident reported another in a series of criminal mischief incidents involving their vehicle. In the latest episode, police said they found minor scratches to the vehicle’s driver’s side windows. The vehicle was damaged while it was parked in the resident’s driveway.

– Ron Leir 

Subwoofer stolen from Nutley resident’s home, police say

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July 5

Someone swiped a Kicker Subwoofer Speaker valued at $700 from a Passaic Ave. residence, the occupant told police. The theft was logged at 1:10 a.m.

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A William St. resident told police that after loaning their charge card to someone, they noticed that two transactions they didn’t authorize had been made on their card and that they’d been unable to reach the card’s borrower. Police said they couldn’t contact the borrower, either. The card has been canceled.

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At 7:49 p.m., a Parallel St. resident reported someone had stolen their engagement ring from their home. The ring was valued at $2,000. Police said they found no sign of forced entry to the residence. Read more »

Ridge Road closed 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today from Pike to Jauncey Ave.

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Ridge Road will be closed today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the Belleville Turnpike to Jauncey Ave. for the funeral of Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, the NAPD says. Limited local traffic may be permitted along Ridge Road up to Sunset Ave. at certain points, but the NAPD suggests motorists take alternate routes during this time frame to avoid any confusion.

Dawn of an era

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By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

BELLEVILLE – 

“This is where it all started. Belleville, N.J. A thousand years ago. Eisenhower. Rocky Marciano. And a few guys under a streetlamp singing somebody else’s latest hit.”

That’s part of the intro to the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys” — and as soon as the town is mentioned, someone in the audience will applaud. Or shout a “Yo! Belleville!”

Belleville folk are proud of their home. And proud of the Jersey boys who made the big time. And some of them even can remember when the sounds of a summer night always included a few guys harmonizing under a streetlamp.

Which probably was somewhere in the area of Franklin St. and Watchung Ave. Read more »

New job for Doran … for now

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By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

HARRISON –

The Harrison Board of Education is working on plans to remedy overcrowding in its elementary schools but who exactly will be in charge of seeing those plans through isn’t clear as it continues to grapple with its leadership issue.

Its five-year contract with Schools Superintendent James Doran expired June 30 and, instead of reappointing him to that post, the board revived a position that has been vacant for several years – director of personnel/human resources/ compliance and crisis management – and named Doran to fill it at its meeting last Thursday.

“I want to thank the board for their continued faith in me,” Doran said during the board’s public session.

Karen Murray, the board’s labor attorney, said the board was still in negotiations on Doran’s new salary but Doran said it was likely to end up at “about $200,000,” which, he said, would represent a $42,000 cut from what he was earning as superintendent. At the same time, the board agreed to ask the state Commissioner of Education for a waiver of the state-mandated salary cap “for superintendent and acting superintendent.” Read more »

Suspect ID’d in bank heist

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By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Authorities have identified a Paterson man as the prime suspect in the robbery of the PNC Bank at Kearny and Midland Aves. last Wednesday afternoon.

Kearny police reported on Friday that they were hunting Carnie Monts, 28, in connection with the hold-up, which occurred at 2:30 p.m., July 9. Officers have checked his residence on N. Third St. in Paterson “with negative results.”

Monts was identified after a joint investigation by the KPD, the FBI, the North Arlington PD and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the KPD, the robber entered the bank twice. He was first seen on security tapes at a customer counter, left the premises and returned shortly afterwards, this time with his face partially covered with what was thought to be a white Tshirt. Read more »

Aid will partly offset tax

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By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY –

Some good news for Kearny taxpayers: the town will be getting state transitional aid for 2014 and Mayor Alberto Santos said that means the anticipated hit for property owners won’t be as bad as expected.

How much that hit will be remained a bit murky, however, as The Observer went to press Monday. Santos and Town Council finance committee members were waiting for CFO Shuaib Firozvi to crunch the numbers to learn how the local municipal tax rate stands with the new revenue.

With the municipal budget introduced in March, an increase of about $4.3 million in local taxes was projected – an 11% hike – or about $417 on the “average” house assessed at about $95,000. As of last week, Santos was projecting “an increase of a little over 3%.” Read more »

Regional realtor board OKs merger

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By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

The Meadowlands Board of Realtors, which has served the needs of real estate agents and their customers in West Hudson and South Bergen for 93 years, is no more.

As of July 1, the group was merged with the Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors, creating the third largest realtor association in New Jersey, with more than 3,300 members.

Only the North Central Jersey BOR, with 7,742 members, and Monmouth County BOR, with 5,635, are larger, according to EBCBOR spokeswoman Melissa Piccinich. NCJBOR’s territory takes in Essex, Union, Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren counties.

Kearny realtor Scott Bixler of the Bixler Group and vice president of the MBOR, worked with MBOR President Nancy Lastra, a Rutherford realtor, in helping draft the merger agreement and Bixler will join the EBCBOR board in 2015. Read more »