News in brief


A single-car accident on Rt. 21 in Belleville last Tuesday, Oct. 1, killed a Belleville man, police reported.

Police Det. Robert Kane said Jose Pinero, 59, was traveling southbound at 6:25 a.m. when his vehicle hit the divider close to the highway’s Main St. exit.

As a car behind Pinero’s slowed up, that car was struck in the rear by a third car but no one was seriously hurt, Kane said.

Pinero was taken to Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville where he was pronounced dead.

Police shut the highway’s southbound lanes for about an hour to clear the wreckage and conduct an investigation of the fatal accident.

Kane said last week that alcohol wasn’t suspected as the cause of the mishap. He said police are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.


A Bayonne motorist was charged with DWI, assault by auto, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding and uninsured vehicle in the wake of a two-car crash on Rt. 21 last Sunday night, Sept. 29, police said.

According to an Oct. 3 report on attributed to Nutley Police, Alvaro Seclen, 39, of Bayonne, was driving south through the Nutley section of Rt. 21 at 6:23 p.m. when his sedan was in collision with a minivan and both vehicles overturned.

Of the seven people in the minivan, three were treated at Clara Maass Medical Center and one to University Hospital in Newark, all for what police characterized as minor injuries.


A Belleville man waiting to be tried in connection with the killing of a 2-year-old boy in December 2011 in Newark was found dead in the Brick City last Thursday, Oct. 3, according to published reports.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office told The Star Ledger that Newark police officers came across the lifeless body of Wakir Bryant, 29, at about 1 a.m. at Peshine and Renner Aves. The prosecutor’s office said Bryant had been shot.

An Essex County grand jury had previously indicted Bryant on charges of reckless manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, hindering apprehension and two weapons offenses for his alleged involvement in the shooting death of the child in a Newark apartment and Bryant had asked the court to dismiss the indictment on the basis of insufficient evidence, it was reported.

The prosecutor’s office is asking anyone with information on the Bryant shooting to call its tips line at 1-877-847- 7432.


Dredging of the top two feet of a 5-acre portion of the Lyndhurst mudflats along the Passaic River at River Mile 10.9 has resumed, now that the Bridge St. Bridge, linking Newark and Harrison, has been repaired.

Jonathan Jaffe, a spokesman for the Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Partners Group, which is financing the cleanup of contaminants in the mudflats, said the contractor hired by the CPG will soon finish the removal of 20,000 cubic yards of the tainted sediment and will then begin the process of capping the dredged area.

Jaffe said the project should be completed by year’s end.

The weekly activity report for the period ending Sept. 29 issued by the CPG lists 14,000 cubic yards of sediment volume dredged to that date, representing about 88% of the total amount to be excavated.

That report also lists the following updates:

• Estimated amount of processed sediment: 16,600 tons. • Estimated tonnage of processed sediment transported offsite: 15,000 tons.

• Tonnage of process sediment received at landfill: 10,600 tons.

• Volume of wastewater transported offsite: 821,900 gallons.


Thirty-seven people have applied for the job of executive director of the Harrison Housing Authority as of the Sept. 30 cutoff date for submissions, according to HHA Interim Executive Director Zinnerford Smith. “Applications were submitted to the search consultant who began a criteria match of candidates’ experience relative to the advertised requirements,” Smith said.

After a preliminary screening of the applications, the consultant and interim director recommended 10 applicants to the HHA Board of Commissioners’ search committee, who will “receive and review the defined list plus the remaining 27,” Smith said.

“The Board search committee will recommend a group of three to five applicants for full board review,” Smith said.

The HHA has been without a permanent administrator since its board fired Michael Rodgers in summer 2010. Rodgers subsequently sued the board, Mayor Ray McDonough and the town, claiming he was a whistleblower victim for having refused to retain an HHA employee, related by marriage to the mayor, with an alleged drug problem. Rodgers ultimately settled his suit out of court for a monetary settlement whose terms were kept secret.

The HHA board has undertaken previous searches for a new boss but each ended unsuccessfully.

The board is next scheduled to meet on Oct. 9. It’s unclear whether any action will be taken on the director search.

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