West New York schools allegedly visited by FBI April 17; Mayor Roque responds
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation allegedly visited three schools in West New York on Tuesday, according to NJ.com.
In March, several media sources alleged that the town hall and Mayor Felix Roque's medical practice and home were raided by the FBI as part of a probe into alleged insurance fraud, reports which Roque says were motivated by a Hudson County political machine he believes is out to ruin him for being a political maverick.
"There is an ongoing investigation of which I am aware," Roque told the Reporter Thursday, "but under their instructions, I am unable to comment. What I will say is that this opposition is being fueled by a corrupted political machine that is trying to discredit my image and destroy our town in order to bring back the misery we endured for the last four years."
Roque added that he has sat on the Federal Drug Agents Foundation of New York's board of trustees for three years, and has the ultimate respect for all federal agents.
"I support them, I support their families, and I open the doors of WNY at any time because I'm a strong believer in transparent government," Roque said. "As I stated before, they do not need a subpoena; all they need to do is knock on the door and access will be granted."
Union City to hold job fair
Union City High School, located at 2500 Kennedy Blvd., will host a job fair presented by Mayor Brian Stack with over 30 participating companies on Wednesday, May 2, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Participants should bring a professional resume. For more information, call (201) 348-8338.
Convicted members of West New York heroin mill sentenced to prison
Five men who pleaded guilty to charges of operating a heroin mill out of a West New York residence were sentenced to prison, according to an April 18 press release from the United States Attorney for New Jersey.
West New York's Sandy Antonio, 35, pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2011 and was sentenced on April 18 to 120 months in prison with an additional sentence of five years of supervised release. His 30-year-old brother, David Antonio of the Bronx, N.Y., pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2011 and was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release, the release said.
On April 12, three other men were sentenced to prison: 24-year-old Christian Colon of Lawrence, Mass. was given 19 months, 27-year-old Jose Delorbe of the Bronx was sentenced to 46 months, and 32-year-old Jorge Guerra Ventura of New York was sentenced to 33 months. All three pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 and were sentenced to three years of supervised release, the release said.
Senator Brian Stack endorses Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr. for 10th congressional district
Senator and Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack (D-33) announced his endorsement of Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr. on Monday for Congress in the 10th congressional district, according to a press release sent from Stack's senate office.
In keeping with his reputation as a party renegade, Stack’s act went against the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s endorsement of Senator Nia Gill.
“Today, I am proud to offer my support to Donald Payne, Jr., as he seeks a seat in Congress," Stack said in the release. "I am familiar with Freeholder Payne’s outstanding record of public service and it is my contention that he understands the needs of the residents that he seeks to represent. Furthermore, I feel that Freeholder Payne and I share common ideals about what it means to work for our communities.”
Stack represents 22 voting districts in the recently apportioned 10th congressional district.
WNY Chamber of Commerce to hold sidewalk sale
The West New York Chamber of Commerce will hold its first sidewalk sale, “Spring into Spring,” on April 27, 28, and 29 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Bergenline Avenue between 49th and 67th streets. Over 300 shops and restaurants will sell their wares.
For more information, call (201) 295-5065.
WNY woman arrested for allegedly barricading 89-year-old woman in basement
Piedad Von-Der Linden, 58, of 57th Street in West New York was arrested and charged with neglect of the elderly on April 19 after police officials found she had allegedly barricaded her 89-year-old mother-in-law in the basement of her residence, West New York Police Director Michael Indri said.
Animal cruelty Officer Jeoffrey Santini accompanied fellow officers after neighbors complained that Von Der Linden was allegedly keeping a large number of cats in the basement.
Upon arrival, Officer Yousef Awadallah observed that the basement door had a shovel allegedly propped up in front of it, Indri said. "Sure enough, when they opened it up, they found an elderly woman wandering aimlessly who appeared not to know what was going on," he added.
Awadallah also noted that another exit from the basement had been allegedly blocked with plywood and cinderblocks, and officials found nine cats who were then removed from the premises by Santini, Indri stated.
"The woman was in bad mental and physical condition," Indri said. "You can just imagine with so many cats."
While police were on the premises, Von-Der Linden returned home and entered the basement, and allegedly asked why she was being harassed, according to a police press release.
Indri reported that Von-Der Linden allegedly said she had been at church for two hours, and that the reason she kept the shovel in front of the door was because it swayed open without it, he said.
Emergency Medical Services and a building inspector were called to the scene, Indri said, and the basement was determined unfit for habitation. Hudson County Protective Services was notified and allowed the victim to stay at Von-Der Linden's residence; but on the first floor, not in the basement.
"It's a distressing situation," Indri said. "Hudson County Protective Services will conduct a follow-up investigation and decide how best to handle it."
Von-Der Linden was arrested and issued a summons, as she had no prior offenses on her record, Indri stated.
Union City to hold Cinco de Mayo celebration
Mayor Brian P. Stack and the Board of Commissioners announce that the City of Union City will hold two events in commemoration of Cinco de Mayo on Friday, May 4.
The flag-raising ceremony will begin at noon at the International Park located on the corner of Palisade Avenue and 38th Street. The ceremony will include invited guest speakers and the raising of the Mexican flag.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at the Jose Marti Freshman Academy, located at 1800 Summit Ave. The event will include invited guest speakers, live mariachi music, Mexican dancers, and traditional Mexican food.
Admission is free to both events. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.
St. Augustine School to host fashion show and alumni reunion
Saint Augustine School, located at 3920 New York Ave. in Union City, will hold a fashion show in the gym on Friday, May 18 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $10.
They will also host an alumni reunion in the school gym on Friday, June 1 starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and those between 21 and 100 years old may attend.
For more information, call (201) 865-0072.
Union City to hold senior citizen Mother’s Day luncheon
Mayor Brian Stack and the Board of Commissioners will hold their annual Union City Senior Citizens Mother’s Day Luncheon on Saturday, May 12 at 12 p.m. in the cafeteria of Union City High School located at 2500 Kennedy Blvd.
Transportation will be provided beginning at 11:15 a.m. from the following locations: 4545, 1104, and 3700 Palisade Ave., 3911 Kennedy Blvd., 1015 Central Ave., 1509 Bergenline Ave., 380 Mountain Ave., 49th Street and Hudson Avenue, and Bella Vista Apartments.
There will be food and entertainment, and admission is free for all adult residents. No children, please. For more information, call the Senior Affairs Office at (201) 348-5701.