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New Jersey’s oldest weekly newspaper, The News Record, has a new online home. Visit NJToday.net for “Everything New Jersey” and read all the great content from The News Record, The Clark Patriot and The Atom Tabloid. We’ll also post web-exclusive stories, photos and videos.

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Bobby Akbar

RAHWAY—Councilman Bobby Akbar pleaded guilty in Clark municipal court to disturbing the peace, thus avoiding a domestic violence trial on assault charges involving a woman who is not his wife.

Akbar, 32, of 692 East Grand Avenue, was arrested on Feb. 26 by police who witnessed a woman suffer injuries as the councilman drove away from what appeared to be an altercation in the school parking lot.

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NEWARK – Last week, a former advisor to state Assemblyman Joseph Vas pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of illegally funneling money into Vas’ 2006 congressional campaign.

Ray Geneske, a longtime friend of Vas, admitted accepting $30,0000 from a developer and giving most of it to “straw donors” who wrote checks to the campaign. The move circumvented campaign finance regulations that cap the maximum donation at $2,100 per individual.

The former Democratic committee chairman in Perth Amboy agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. Geneske faces a maximum of two years in prison, but he may only receive probation when he is sentenced on Sept. 21.

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Laquan Harris

ELIZABETH – An Elizabeth teenager accused of fatally shooting the father of two in April surrendered to police Monday, authorities said.

Laquan Harris, 18, turned himself in at the State Police office in Irvington shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, the Union County Prosecutor’s office said.

Authorities had been searching for Harris for more than a month. He is the primary suspect in the April 13 homicide at the Oakwood Plaza apartments on Irvington Avenue, officials said.

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(Photo courtesy of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office)

Eduardo Serrano

ELIZABETH—A convicted sex offender who was released from jail earlier this year was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly committing another sexual assault against a 14-year-old Elizabeth girl.

Eduardo Serrano, 41, was charged with one count of second degree sexual assault against a minor, according to Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Serrano was released from prison in January, after serving a nearly six-year prison sentence for sexually assault against a minor, the prosecutor said.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal lawmakers, searching for ways to pay for health care reforms, are considering a tax on soda and other drinks sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

Some leading health experts favor the idea, even though it stands little chance of making it into the final health care bill that Congress will consider this year. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the proposal was “on life support.”

Taxes on soda could reduce consumption of the high calorie beverage and help obese Americans lose weight, some health care experts argue.

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CLARK – Students at F.K. Hehnly Elementary School are helping the environment, one juice pouch at a time.

A group of students from the Student Council volunteer their time to aid in the school’s recycling efforts to become more environmentally-friendly.

Known as the “Hehnly Recycling Crusaders”, they have been collecting Capri Sun drink pouches and sending them to TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company.

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