N.J. Newjerseynewsroom.com News for New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/n.j/ Tue, 28 Apr 2015 15:54:05 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Dragging a N.J. State Trooper with Your Car Will Get You 4 Years in State Prison http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/dragging-a-nj-state-trooper-with-your-car-will-get-you-4-years-in-state-prison prison_opt_copy_copy_copy_copyBY PETER ASELTINE
TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Gloucester County man was sentenced to state prison today for dragging a New Jersey state trooper with his car during a violent incident following a traffic stop. He also rammed the vehicle of an off-duty State Police captain while trying to escape.

Daren J. Rebel, 22, of Westville was sentenced to four years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Christine Allen-Jackson in Gloucester County. Rebel was found guilty at trial on Jan. 30 of charges of second-degree aggravated assault while eluding police, second-degree eluding, third-degree aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and fourth-degree aggravated assault. Those charges involved the trooper he dragged with his car. He was acquitted of several charges related to his conduct against the State Police captain.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Andrew Johns and Deputy Attorney General Brian Carney tried the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice.

State Thu, 23 Apr 2015 03:21:50 +0000
Speaker Prieto: NJ Transit Fare Hike Plan an Affront to Working Class New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/speaker-prieto-nj-transit-fare-hike-plan-an-affront-to-working-class-new-jersey vincentprieto_opt_copy_copy_copyBY TOM HESTER

TRENTON – Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following s statement Monday on NJ Transit’s plans to increase fares and curtail services:

“To say I’m disappointed by NJ Transit would be an understatement. I’m appalled at this terrible approach to transportation policy and astonished by the lack of regard for the working people of New Jersey who rely on NJ Transit to make ends meet.

“No one should be mistaken – this fare hike would be a tax increase on working people that would fail to do anything to solve New Jersey’s long-term transportation funding crisis. It would cause pain to working class residents without providing any benefit. That’s awful public policy.

“I’ve been advocating nonstop for a sensible and responsible solution to our transportation crisis precisely so we can avoid reckless decisions such as this one by NJ Transit.

State Tue, 21 Apr 2015 02:49:37 +0000
N.J. Legislature Acts in Support of Pension Lawsuit http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-legislature-acts-in-support-of-pension-lawsuit pension_opt-1_copy_copyBY TOM HESTER

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced on Monday that both houses of the New Jersey Legislature will officially inform the Court of its disapproval of the Christie Administration’s refusal to make the pension payments required by law. Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto will submit an Amicus Brief (attached) in Superior Court stating that the administration is ignoring the law and the legislative intent of the pension reform bill.

Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Prieto issued the following statement:

“We want to make it clear to the Court that the administration’s refusal to make the legally required pension payments violates the law and disregards legislative intent. The pension reform bill approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor is a law he can’t choose to ignore. He has a legal, constitutional and contractual obligation to make the required payments.

“The law explicitly creates a contractual obligation to make the contributions. The Legislature met the requirements of the law by appropriating $2.25 billion to make the payment for Fiscal Year 2015. The governor chose to veto the funding and to slash the contribution by $1.57 billion with a line-item veto.

State Mon, 20 Apr 2015 20:30:56 +0000
Guilty of Sexually Abusing a Little Girl for 7 Years http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/guilty-of-sexually-abusing-a-little-girl-for-7-years justice_opt_1_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY KATHERINE CARTER

NEWARK – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today (April 16)  that an Essex County jury has convicted Michael Calderon, 61, of Newark of 44 counts, including 21 counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, 21 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of production of child pornography.

Following a two-week trial before the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, the jury found Calderon guilty of sexually assaulting the little girl vaginally, orally and anally, starting when she was five years old in kindergarten until she was 11 years old. The defendant also videotaped himself sexually assaulting the little girl. The defendant was the boyfriend of the child’s caregiver.

“The bravery and strength of the victim is what made the difference in this case. Her testimony was compelling. This was a little girl who had been sexually abused more than half her life. With the support of her family she was able to come forward and testify against her abuser,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Lyons-Boswick, who tried the case. “We are truly thankful to the jurors for the time and attention they devoted to this difficult case.’’

State Fri, 17 Apr 2015 03:31:25 +0000
Possible PARCC Penalties Coming to New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/possible-parcc-penalties-coming-to-new-jersey PENALTY_optBY BOB HOLT

The New Jersey Department of Education takes its schools’ participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers testing very seriously, according to its commissioner.

Students have been opting out of the standardized testing in increasing numbers. Public schools are expected to have 95 percent of its students participate.

Sanctions may soon be involved with schools that do not achieve that rate. NJ.com reports that according to Education Commissioner David Hespe, they may be put on a corrective action plan, and schools with the highest rates of students opting out could lose state funding.

State Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:26:29 +0000
6 Reasons NJ Transit Paid Worker $700K http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/6-reasons-nj-transit-paid-worker-700k justice_opt_1_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY BOB HOLT

An employee’s lawsuit against NJ Transit resulting from the 2008 electrocution of another worker has been settled.

Flagman conductor Anthony Araujo was working in Newark when he witnessed the worker being electrocuted by a live wire.

According to an Associated Press report on NBC 10 Philadelphia, Araujo said NJ Transit suspended him without pay for reporting the accident and seeking counseling after witnessing it. Araujo was seeking out the agency’s Employee Assistance Program, according to court documents.

NJ.com reported that Araujo filed a compliant with OSHA and then a lawsuit, saying that NJ Transit filed disciplinary charges against him for taking a day off after he witnessed the employee’s electrocution. The Employee Assistance Program evaluator recommended the day off for Araujo, saying that he was unable to safely work.

State Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:33:15 +0000
4 Reasons Chris Christie Accused of Using NJ Pension Issue for Politics http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/4-reasons-chris-christie-accused-of-using-nj-pension-issue-for-politics christienov_opt.png_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY BOB HOLT

Remember how the New Jersey Education Association was going to work with a commission appointed by the Christie administration on a framework for restructuring public employee pension and health benefits?

Yeah, they don’t either. But the Association says they have good reasons for ending the talks yesterday.

“If we had it to do over again, we would never have signed the memo describing concepts we discussed,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer, according to NorthJersey.com. “It was misrepresented by the governor, and that distracted everyone from the real priority: requiring the state to fund the pensions for which our members have paid their share on each and every payday throughout their careers.”

The NJEA wants Christie to follow a 2011 law that he signed requiring pension payments to reach their full amount over a seven-year period. "The law is the law," Steinhauer said, according to The Asbury Park Press. "Gov. Christie signed needs to obey it by making the full annual contribution this year, next year, and every year beyond, as the statute explicitly requires."

Christie’s reform proposal called for pensions to be frozen, and union members to join investment plans similar to a 401(k). Steinhauer said, according to NJ.com, "Ultimately, there was no consensus reached on any of the broad concepts we discussed with the commission, and there are serious concerns about some of those concepts.”

State Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:16:38 +0000
Next NJ Governor? Steve Sweeney and Steve Fulop Leave Door Wide Open for Phil Murphy http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/steve-sweeney-and-steve-fulop-leave-door-wide-open-for-phil-murphy door_opt-2BY BOB HOLT

It seems like the category known as “I don’t know” has become the popular favorite among New Jersey voters in the upcoming political elections.

According to a new poll, Gov. Chris Christie trails “I don’t know” by two percentage points for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Also, the Fairleigh Dickinson University telephone poll of 790 registered New Jersey voters shows the race to become the next state governor in 2017 is basically wide open.

Politicker NJ reports that Senate President Steve Sweeney is the leader among potential 2017 candidates for governor because of his recognition factor. More than 4 out of 10 New Jersey voters are familiar with Sweeney, while Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and former German ambassador Phil Murphy are unknown to about 88 % of state voters.

The Fairleigh Dickinson poll said Sweeney is favored by 13% of voters, but another 15% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Meanwhile, Murphy has been out trying to get his name recognized.

State Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:03:47 +0000
Doe with Arrow Through Face Spotted in Manalapan http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/doe-with-arrow-through-face-spotted-in-manalapan DOE_optBY ANGI METLER

MANALPAN – Several residents have called the Animal Protection League of New Jersey after they spotted a deer with an arrow through her face wandering in Manalapan Township.

Pete Cintula of Manalapan, Monmouth Heights took a photo of the deer he saw walking near Robertsville Road in Manalapan Township.

“Unfortunately, calls to the State’s Warn-DEP hotline have been useless. APLNJ is urging the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife to tranquilize the deer and get her medical attention to remove the arrow,” said, Janine Motta, APLNJ’s programs director.

The deer has been spotted several times over the last several weeks. While the deer appears otherwise healthy, callers have strongly expressed that they want her to be humanely captured, treated and released back to where she lives.

State Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:35:27 +0000
NJ Decapitated Baby Sketched by Police to Get Help From Public http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-decapitated-baby-sketched-by-police-to-get-help-from-public police_opt_2_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY BOB HOLT

Five months after a decapitated infant was found in Monmouth County, authorities have turned to the public for help.

A composite sketch of the child plus a picture of one of the blouses found with her was released this week.

Philly.com reported that on Nov. 11, a worker at the ReCommunity Recycling center in Farmingdale found the baby’s body in the trash. Investigators later located its head and two bloodstained blouses from an unidentified retail store in Orange.

It was believed that the blouses belonged to the baby’s mother. The baby was born to full-term at 21.5 inches, and weighed 7 pounds and 5 ounces, according to NBC New York. The child’s remains have been given to Ardena Baptist Church in Howell, who named her Emma Grace.

State Sat, 18 Apr 2015 16:18:15 +0000