Jan 21, 2018 | 2836 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Phil Murphy recently paid a visit to the Tonnelle Avenue light rail station in North Bergen. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
Gov. Phil Murphy recently paid a visit to the Tonnelle Avenue light rail station in North Bergen. See briefs for more information. (Photo credit: Art Schwartz)
Man arrested in Union City for allegedly sexually assaulting 10-year-old

The Union City Police Department arrested a 31-year-old man on Jan. 13 for alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl the day before, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.

According to an HCPO press release, the man allegedly assaulted the girl on the steps of her apartment building.

The alleged victim was able to escape and alert an adult, who then contacted the UCPD. That same day, UCPD detectives contacted the County Prosecutor's Special Victims Unit regarding the alleged attack.

An initial investigation led to the suspect at a nearby shelter. Officials transported the man to a Hudson County Prosecutor facility to Jersey City. However, he escaped the facility soon after. Officers recaptured him within 24 hours.

The man, who – according to the Prosecutor’s Office press release is Luis Bescome of East Elmhurst, N.Y. -- is charged with sexual assault, a second degree crime; endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree crime; escape, a third degree crime; possession of controlled dangerous substance; defiant trespassing, and obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez credited the Union City Police Department for their assistance in catching the suspect. She also credited the NJ State Police, the Maywood Police Department K-9 Unit, the Jersey City Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for assisting.

County’s homeless hotline AGAIN doesn’t pick up when we call – days after homeless man freezes to death in portable potty

Eight days after construction workers in Union City found a homeless man’s body in a local port-o-potty, the county’s homeless hotline is again not working. Two reporters called the number for two hours on Wednesday, a cold, snowy day, and listened to the phone ring more than eight times with each call. Others who tried got a busy signal.

This is the third time in two years that the Hudson Reporter – in the course of routine reporting on the homeless situation – tried the 24-hour emergency line and got no answer.

Each time, county officials gave apologetic responses and promises to fix the line – which homeless people are supposed to call in winter if they need shelter and the three local shelters are backed up. The county runs an overflow shelter in Kearny.

The hotline is 800-624-0287.

Stories by The Reporter( back to 2016 showed problems with the line, with various county officials saying it was another department’s responsibility.

On Jan. 9, local workers discovered a homeless man’s body in a port-o-potty at a construction site near a church in Union City, according to Police Chief Richard Molinari. The construction site is the location for the Sts. Joseph and Michael Church, severely damaged in a fire last March.

A company is currently performing repairs to the church, located at 1314 Central Ave.

According to Molinari, the man was Hispanic and in his late 20s. The chief believes that he used the port-o-potty to escape the freezing temperatures.

“The weather was certainly a factor in causing his death,” Molinari said. “If someone’s going to seek refuge in a port-o-john, that does not protect you from the low temperatures.”

Township seeks to lease land from state for new parking lot

At their Jan. 10 meeting, the North Bergen Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance to rent state-owned property located between Tonnelle and Liberty avenues, and between Union Turnpike and 40th Street.

The town hopes to use the space as a municipal parking lot, according to Town Administrator Chris Pianese.

“The town was pursuing buying it from the state,” Pianese said after the commissioners’ meeting. “But then we considered the lease option, which they presented to us. We were very happy to hear that, because for a dollar a month, we can lease the property for a 10 year term.”

Though the deal may sound too good to be true, Pianese said that the deal was a “token way of expressing [from the state] that you’re getting it for nothing.”

Once the state approves the lease, the town will get an architect to figure out how many parking spaces can fit in the area, and then work on the actual lot as soon as the weather improves. Pianese estimates the lot will have 75 parking spaces.

“It’s a big lot,” he said.

Phil Murphy visits North Bergen

Three days before being sworn in as the 56th governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy paid a visit to North Bergen as part of his “New Day in New Jersey” tour, designed to highlight problems and opportunities for mass transit in the state.

Mayor Nicholas Sacco was on the platform at the Tonnelle Avenue light-rail station on Saturday, Jan. 13 to greet the governor-to-be, along with Commissioners Hugo Cabrera, Julio Marenco, and Allen Pascual.

They were joined by a large crowd of local dignitaries and residents eager to shake hands and take photos with the next governor.

Arriving on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Murphy expressed his strong support and admiration for Mayor Sacco, who also serves as a state senator. The visit to North Bergen was part of a day-long trip to various transit hubs in North Jersey, and included the ride on the light rail from Jersey City via Hoboken and numerous other stops, ending up at North Bergen and visiting with mayors and other top public officials along the way.

Murphy has committed to addressing problems with New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure. Elected as governor to succeed Christopher Christie, he was sworn in on Jan. 16 in Trenton, along with Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver.

Suez Water disruption to impact portions of township on Jan. 23

Suez Water announced that they will perform system improvements on Palisades Avenue in Union City in January, which will impact customers in portions of North Bergen.

On approximately Jan. 23 (weather permitting), work will begin on a 30-inch main between 41st and 43rd Streets, and residents and motorists may experience parking disruptions in the vicinity of the work zone.

The work will take approximately 18 hours and will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23 Customers may experience lower than normal water pressure south of the 43rd Street while work is being performed.

Should weather not permit work to be performed as scheduled, it will be rescheduled and the service disruption will occur on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Suez advises that residents may wish to store water prior to the interruption to satisfy basic needs.

Soccer registration now open

Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Commissioner Hugo Cabrera announce that soccer registration is taking place for ages 6 to 16 from Jan. 16 through Feb. 24.

Register between 2 and 9 p.m. Monday to Friday at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave., or at the white trailer by the soccer field in North Hudson Park from 5:45 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Proof of residency is required, along with a birth certificate/passport, one current passport-size photo (no photocopies), and a gas/water/electric/home telephone/cable bill. No cell phone bills accepted.

A non-refundable $35 registration fee is required. Please bring cash (exact change), check, or money order.

Additional restrictions apply. See the flyer below for further information, or call (201) 861-9601.

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