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Archive for the ‘Union County’ Category

Rahway Councilman Akbar Guilty

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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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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Hehnly Students Go Green

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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JimmieSession

Jimmie Session

ELIZABETH—Two Newark men have been arrested and charged with the March 18 shooting death of a Roselle business owner, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said Monday. Additionally the men have been linked to a number of robberies in Elizabeth, Millburn and North Arlington.

Jimmie Session, 42, and Victor Russ, 42, are both charged with felony murder, first degree murder, robbery and unlawful possession of a weapon. Union County Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim set bail for each man at $1 million.

Beginning last December, police believe the two men began robbing liquor and convenience stores in the North Jersey area including two locations in Elizabeth, an additional Roselle location and one in North Arlington where a gun was displayed and a shot fired, said Romankow. They also allegedly robbed a store in Millburn, but did not fire a weapon.

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CLARK—The American Cancer Society invites residents of Clark and surrounding towns to join more than 4,800 other communities across the United States in celebration of survivorship and hope at the second annual Relay For Life of Clark.

The event will be held on Friday, June 12, at Arthur L. Johnson High School, 365 Westfield Avenue.  Registration opens at 3:30 p.m.; opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m.

The relay will continue throughout Friday night until the closing “Victory Lap” at 8 a.m. the following morning. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature event and is unlike any typical fundraising walk.

Cancer survivors walk in the “Survivor Celebration Opening Lap” at American Cancer Society-Relay For Life of Cranford, on Friday, May 29. (Photo credit: Ruthanne Brown)

Cancer survivors walk in the “Survivor Celebration Opening Lap” at American Cancer Society-Relay For Life of Cranford, on Friday, May 29. (Photo credit: Ruthanne Brown)

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ELIZABETH—A jury convicted an Elizabeth man of 2nd degree sexual assault and 3rd degree endangering welfare of a child, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced last week.

Gabriel Alvarado, 48, faces at least 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31, according to Assistant Prosecutor Scott Peterson, who handled the case.

An investigation revealed that Alvarado was a family friend of the victim, who was seven years old at the time she told her parents of the man’s inappropriate touching, said Peterson. Prosecutors believe that Alvarado touched the child several times while she was at his house between 2005-2006.

The parents contacted police who launched an investigation. Alvarado was arrested a short time later. The jury’s verdict came after a three-week trial and nearly eight hours of deliberation.

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RAHWAY – The school board will provide information on a proposed district-wide capital projects referendum at a town meeting on Thursdya, June 11, at 6:45 p.m. in the Rahway Library’s meeting room.

The Board of Education will present a $34 million  referendum to voters on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Thursday, school officials will explain the plan with a slide show and question and answer period.

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ELIZABETH—Seth Laderman won’t say whether the ghost of Hannah Caldwell is finally ready for her close up.

But he is predicting fans of Ghost Hunters, the popular cable television series on the SciFi channel, will not be disappointed when they tune in this summer to see what the crew found when they visited the Union County Courthouse.

“They can expect a pretty cool investigation,” said Laderman, a co-producer of the SciFi channel’s Ghost Hunters.

During a break in the shooting of the final scene for an episode of Ghost Hunters that will air in July, Grant Wilson (left) and Jason Hawes (center) share a laugh. The two are founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society, a group of ordinary people who moonlight and investigate seemingly unexplainable disturbances.  Wilson and Hawes are the driving forces behind Ghost Hunters, the popular Sci-Fi Channel program in which the hunters travel the country investigating reports of paranormal activity. On the right is Brian Dee, the show's director of photography.

During a break in the shooting of the final scene for an episode of Ghost Hunters that will air in July, Grant Wilson (left) and Jason Hawes (center) share a laugh. The two are founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society, a group of ordinary people who moonlight and investigate seemingly unexplainable disturbances. Wilson and Hawes are the driving forces behind Ghost Hunters, the popular Sci-Fi Channel program in which the hunters travel the country investigating reports of paranormal activity. On the right is Brian Dee, the show's director of photography.

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CLARK—Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark held commencement exercises on May 28.  Sister Regina Martin, principal, awarded diplomas to 102 graduates, who were presented by Assistant Principal Joan Barron.

Mother Seton Class of 2009 Earns Diplomas 061109

Left to right: Valedictorian Ada Yeung will be attending the University of Pennsylvania; Student Council President Meredith Lubas will be attending the University of Scranton and Salutatorian Amanpreet Mashiana will be attending Rutgers University. (Photo by Joan Barron)

Reverend Kevin Murphy, M.Div., M.A., director of campus ministry and Catholic chaplain at Fairleigh Dickinson University was the commencement speaker. Murphy has served as a former chaplain at Mother Seton as well. The class of 2009 achieved in excess of $10.8 million dollars in academic scholarships and awards as of May 20.

Martin said, “We hope that you will use your Mother Seton education and the faith that is yours as you go forth to make a difference.  Always be proud of your family, your school and of course yourself.”

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Top Scholar

Top Scholar 061809

Top Scholar—Cassandra Konecny, an 11th grade student at Union County Tech recently represented Linden in the New Jersey League of Municipalities future Municipal Leaders Scholarship where she placed as a semi-finalist.  Her area of interest in municipal government is the municipal court system. Pictured above, Cassandra Konecny receives her certificate from Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka. (Photo courtesy of the City of Linden)

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UNION COUNTY — Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs won by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, defeating a field of five opponents that included a city councilman, a school board member and the chairwoman of the municipal utilities authority.

Just four Union County communities had contested primaries, though 17 of 21 held elections. There are no local elections this year in Clark, Elizabeth or Rahway.

Freeholder chairman Alexander Mirabella and Freeholder Deborah Scanlon, along with Democratic party-endorsed candidate Mohamed Jalloh won the Union County Freeholder primary race. In November, they will face Republicans Anthony Sytko, Nicole Cole and Modesto Miranda Jr.

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LINDEN – Municipal taxes will rise about $100 for the average Linden resident under the proposed 2009 budget, which calls for furloughs of city employees and deferrals of municipal pension contributions.

Taxes will go up $103 on a property assessed at the city average of $141,100. While the planned increase is smaller than in recent years, the average municipal tax bill will climb to $2,100.

The proposed 2009 budget comes in at around $88 million, more than $4 million less than the 2008 budget, which was $92.5 million. But the tax increase is necessary because revenue is down more than $4 million.

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ELIZABETH—A Jersey City man was sentenced to 60 years in state prison on Friday after having been found guilty of first degree murder, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced.

Omar Holmes, 24, must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, officials said.

In March, after a three-week trial and less than a day of jury deliberations, Holmes was also convicted of several weapon offences, said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Henn, who handled the case.

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Rahway Races

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Runners take off at the start of the PowerBar Mayor’s Trophy 5K Run on Memorial Day in Rahway. The winners of the race were G. G. John of East Orange and Almlemtseh Misganaw of Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of the Rahway Recreation Department)

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