By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY - Ninety-five years ago this week — Aug. 19, 1919 — 13 veterans of the Great War, as World War I was then known, gathered in the Kearny home of Fred E. Portz to organize a local chapter of the American Legion. […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent LYNDHURST – Lawmakers from all levels of government, led by State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney, assembled for a press conference on the banks of the Passaic River Aug. 12 to declare their support for a replacement for the 109-year-old DeJessa Memorial Bridge that links […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY – A Kearny man, who two years ago accidentally shot himself in the jaw with a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, was arrested last week in Newark on weapons charges. This time, authorities said, he was in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle. […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY– A house-party host got a bit more than he bargained for when he hired a disc jockey for the festivities and an “associate” robbed him at knifepoint, Kearny police reported. Thanks to some determined detective work, the alleged assailant was tracked (pun intended) down […]
LYNDHURST – The Lyndhurst Police Department last week announced the capture of suspects wanted in connection with a stabbing at a local entertainment spot and with a residential theft. On Monday, Aug. 11, at about 2 a.m., police were called to the Riva Blue night club, 525 Riverside Ave., […]
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 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.
By Karen Zautyk
“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 »
By Ron Leir
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 »
By Karen Zautyk
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 »
By Ron Leir
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 »
By Ron Leir
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 »
Regular readers of the Kearny police blotter know that the week’s entries would not be complete without a shoplifting incident at Walmart. This week, there are two, each of particular note.
The first occurred at 3:30 p.m. July 7, when an alleged shoplifter, confronted by store security, fled in a car, dragging one of the guards after it for some distance, police said. The guard, who reportedly was not injured, got the plate number, which was given to the KPD.
As soon as Officer John Fabula, driving on Bergen Ave., entered the information into a license plate database, he saw the auto in question pass by, heading in the opposite direction. He alerted other units, and the vehicle was again immediately spotted, this time by Officer Sean Kelly at Bergen and Schuyler Aves.
Kelly gave chase, bringing the car to a halt at Ivy and King Sts., where he arrested driver Pablito Santiago, 30, of Newark, who was charged with robbery, aggravated assault and weapons possession, the weapon being the car. Santiago was later transported to the Hudson County Jail. Read more »
When the news first broke Sunday morning that a Jersey City police officer had been killed in the line of duty, word was that he had been responding to an armed robbery at a Walgreens drugstore.
Later that day, at a press conference, matters were clarified. Yes, a robbery had been reported. But the “suspect” made no attempt to flee. He waited outside the store for police to respond to the 911 call. And when the first radio car pulled up, he put a bullet in Officer Melvin Santiago’s head.
This was the deliberate targeting of a cop. Just because he was a cop. This was cold-blooded murder.
The killer fired at another patrol car, but was taken down by police before he could wound, or slaughter, any other officers.
On Sunday, the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org) posted the following details:
“Police Officer Melvin Santiago was shot and killed at 4:09 a.m. when he and his partner responded to a robbery call at a 24-hour pharmacy on the corner of Communipaw Ave. and John F. Kennedy Blvd. Read more »
Kearny native Ellen Naughton has been named principal of Queen of Peace Elementary School, 21 Church Pl., North Arlington, for the 2014-2015 academic year.
An alumna of Queen of Peace High School, Naughton received her undergraduate degree from Montclair State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Seton Hall University.
For the past 11 years, Naughton worked at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Bloomfield where she taught first, second and fifth grade. Naughton spent her early childhood years attending St. Stephen’s Elementary School in Kearny.
As a mother of four children and strong advocate for Catholic education, Naughton considers herself blessed to have had all her children attend both Catholic elementary school (St. Thomas in Bloomfield) and Catholic high school.
“I’m elated to return to the Queen of Peace family and along with a dedicated staff, I will strive to continue the legacy of success established at Queen of Peace,” she said.
Naughton replaces former principal Terri Suchocki, who retired in June after an 18-year tenure at the school.
For more information about Queen of Peace Elementary School, visit www.queenofpeaceschool.net or call 201- 998-8227.