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Archive for January 27th, 2009

PERTH AMBOY – A 9-year-old girl escaped an attempted abduction Saturday morning at St. Mary’s School on Mechanic Street, authorities said.

The girl’s mother told police that she dropped off her daughter at the school gymnasium and watched the girl go into the building, police said.

The girl walked down the hallway to her CCD class when she was stopped by a man who told her the classes were cancelled, police said. The man then grabbed the girl and took her across the street to the church, police said.

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ELIZABETH—A close political associate of Mayor J. Christian Bollwage was convicted of bribing a housing official last week in federal court.

Ray Vella, 33, of Elizabeth, owner of Pavel Construction, was found guilty of trading cash payments for more than $650,000 in contracts.

The verdict brings to a close a bid-rigging and kickback scandal that crippled a program meant to renovate dilapidated houses in Linden. Vella is the fifth and final suspect found guilty in a scheme that abused a federally-funded program to provide new roofs, siding and other home improvements to low-income and elderly residents to reward favored contractors.

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PERTH AMBOY – Two men were charged last week in the fatal stabbing of a 22-year-old man near the Perth Amboy waterfront in June.

Fulgencio G. Monasterio of Carteret and Bernaldo Martinez of Perth Amboy were charged with the June 22 murder of Jesus Ramirez, who was stabbed behind a warehouse on High Street. Both men had been in custody since June on charges that they lied to investigators.

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LINDEN—Linden School No. 4 celebrated Chinese New Year as part of the world language Chinese class. 

All of the second-graders wore red shirts, a special color for the New Year’s celebration. “Red is a lucky color in China,” said Qinying Coleman, the Chinese teacher.

Students at Linden School No. 4 display all of the festive paper scrolls, noise makers and the dragon costume they made to celebrate Chinese New Year. Great fun and learning was the theme for the day. (Photo courtesy of Linden Public Schools.)

Students at Linden School No. 4 display all of the festive paper scrolls, noise makers and the dragon costume they made to celebrate Chinese New Year. Great fun and learning was the theme for the day. (Photo courtesy of Linden Public Schools.)

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hoopsBy Jim Whelan

When a nationally-ranked high school team loses their top player to injury, the competition usually breathes a sigh of relief.     

Dexter Strickland did not start his senior year on the right foot at St. Patrick’s High School.  Strickland sat out the Celtics’ first game of the season during their trip to the City of Palms Basketball Tournament for a school infraction. He served his penance and is trying to finish his senior year by winning a state championship and a Tournament of Champions victory for the Elizabeth school

Already hampered by a knee injury, the Rahway resident re-injured it against Edison Academy on Jan. 14.  “It doesn’t feel right,” said St. Patrick’s Coach Kevin Boyle about his senior standout’s knee.  “He had an MRI on it (Jan. 15).  We are going to wait and see.”  

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