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CORRUPTION TRIAL – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is in federal court fighting for his political and personal life. He has been accused of taking gifts in exchange for using his influence to help a Florida doctor. (See brief)
CORRUPTION TRIAL – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is in federal court fighting for his political and personal life. He has been accused of taking gifts in exchange for using his influence to help a Florida doctor. (See brief)
Menendez trial starts

During a heated debate on Wednesday, Sept. 6, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls told a lawyer for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez to “shut up for a moment.” This came shortly after the trial began on Aug. 6, when defense attorney Raymond Brown chastised Walls for not allowing Menendez time off from the trial to vote in the Senate.

According to press accounts from the trial, Brown appeared to be questioning the judge’s motives, to which Wall replied this was a defense effort to raise doubts in the jury about Wall’s intentions.

Meanwhile, Kirk Ogrosky, the lead attorney for Dominican-born Florida eye doctor and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, claimed the trial was an attack on the Hispanic-American Community.

Menendez has been charged with corruption for accepting gifts from Melgen, which prosecutors claim resulted in Menendez’s intervening on Melgen’s behalf on several issues, including Medicaid reimbursements as well clearing legal hurtles for a Melgen-owned business.

The prosecution in its opening statement referred to “official acts” it claims Menendez allegedly took on Melgen’s behalf. The distinction is important because a pertinent U.S. Supreme Court ruling exonerating a Virginia official accusing of similar offenses held that in the absence of “official acts” tied to the alleged bribes no crime had been committed.

Ogrosky in his defense opening denied that there was a corrupt agreement, and that the government had no witnesses, email, text messages to show there was.

The trail is expected to continue into next week.

First responders cook off held on Sept. 9

Jersey City Police officers, firefighters, EMTs and Hudson County Corrections officers will compete in the 2nd Annual Jersey City First Responders Charity Cook-off Festivities on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Beacon, 20 Beacon Way.

The day will include food tasting and judging of contestants’ dishes, food trucks, children’s activities, music and more.

With each ticket, attendees will get to taste each of the prepared dishes and vote for their favorite. All proceeds will benefit a charity of the groups’ choosing: The Jersey City Firefighters Family Assistance Fund, the Police Unity Tour, the Make-AWish Foundation, and The Code Green Campaign, as well as $5 from every ticket sold going to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Festivities also include music, children’s activities, food trucks, and more, while enjoying a fall day in the Beacon’s Overlook Park with views of Jersey City and New York City.

Annual 9/11 ceremonies include a Memorial Blood Drive

Jersey City is once again partnering with the American Red Cross and Suburban Propane to host the third annual Jersey City Police and Fire 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive.

As part of the nationwide partnership with , an organization supporting the nation’s largest day of charitable engagement, everyone is invited and encouraged to partake in this special event.

Organizers say the blood drive is a unique way to commemorate the solemn day while potentially saving a life. Jersey City played a critical role in the response and recovery efforts on Sept. 11, 2001 as the first point of refuge for hundreds of people who evacuated the World Trade Center and lower Manhattan.

The blood drive event places an emphasis on community preparedness and organizers believe volunteer blood donors will help this endeavor through this partnership. The blood drive will be operating from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a ceremony at 11 a.m.

This will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson, 2 Exchange Place.

Looking for players in the fall baseball and softball season

Perishing Field will hold its fall season of baseball and softball starting on Sept. 11 and running through Oct. 29.

Those interested in play on the senior boys and girls teams or the major boys teams ages 9 to 12 should contact the league at

2017 PGA Presidents Cup coming to Jersey City

The PGA’s Presidents Cup is a series of men’s golf matches between a team representing the United States and an International Team representing the rest of the world minus Europe. The tournament comes to Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 this year.

The U.S. Presidents Cup Team is comprised of the top-10 U.S. players who earned the most FedExCup points from Sept. 15, 2015, through Sept. 4, 2017, plus two captain’s selections.

With the start of competition at the 2017 Presidents Cup less than one month away, the final four players for the event were determined Sept. 6 as International Team Captain Nick Price and U.S. Team Captain Steve Stricker announced their Captains’ Selections.

Stricker selected Charley Hoffman and Phil Mickelson. The full team membership is Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Chappell, Charley Hoffman, and Phil Mickelson .

With a sellout expected for the 2017 Presidents Cup, limited tickets remain, with grounds ticket prices ranging from $50 for Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds, to $140 for the Sunday Singles Matches. Grounds tickets can be purchased at

In addition to grounds tickets, a limited number of weekly Captains’ Club packages, an upgraded public ticket offering located on the 9th green with views of both the 9th green and signature par-3 10th hole, are still available, as are Tuesday and Wednesday Practice Round Captains’ Club tickets, at or via TicketMaster.

Travel and upgraded VIP experiences can be purchased including Captains’ Club on competition days at

For updates on the Presidents Cup, check, join us on Facebook at, Twitter and Instagram at @president scup and sign up for the Presidents Cup e-newsletter.

Comedy movie starring Nathan Lane, based on local author’s book, comes to Netflix

A comedy movie starring Broadway legend (and Jersey City native) Nathan Lane – based on a humorous novel by Hoboken resident (and Reporter editor) Caren Lissner -- is now available on Netflix as of Tuesday, Sept. 5. It is also available on Amazon and iTunes.

The film, Carrie Pilby, stars Bel Powley as 19-year-old genius who graduates from Harvard three years early and moves to New York City. She’s confused about how to make friends and date. She tries to make sense of life’s hypocrisies, all while meeting an unusual cast of characters and dealing with a past inappropriate relationship with a college professor (Colin O’Donoghue). Her therapist, played by Nathan Lane, is perhaps the only person sharp enough to match wits with her.

The book, available new on Amazon, has been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Malay, and Thai.

The film also stars Gabriel Byrne (“The Usual Suspects”, “Miller’s Crossing”), Vanessa Bayer (“Saturday Night Live”), William Moseley, Jason Ritter, and Desmin Borges.

Those who want to see it on cable can check their alphabetical list of on-demand movies. The film can also be purchased as a DVD via Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, or other on-line retailers.

It was directed by Susan Johnson (who recently wrapped the film adaptation of Jenny Han’s best-selling novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”).

The film premiered a year ago this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival, then opened in area theaters for a limited run in April.

The film earned positive reviews from the Guardian,, and the Village Voice.

Lissner will be appearing on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Barnes and Noble in Paramus as part of a teen book festival to discuss the novel, the adaptation process, getting published, and any other matters of interest to attendees. More information can be found at

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