McGreevey announces that Mayor Steven Fulop has proposed to his girlfriend
Former governor Jim McGreevey, who now works for Jersey City helping ex-cons get back into the workforce, announced over the weekend that Mayor Steven Fulop is engaged. According to NJ.com, McGreevey apparently made the announcement at a Christmas concert at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theater.
Friends of Fulop told NJ.com that the mayor, 38, proposed to girlfriend Jaclyn Thompson, a physical therapist who runs a practice at Exchange Place, about two weeks ago.
The pair moved in together earlier this year to a condo in Jersey City Heights.
Fulop told the Hudson Reporter’s magazine, Jersey City Magazine, a year ago that he wanted to have a family someday, and was expecting to move forward in the next year (see hudsonreporter.com to read the article).
Fulop declined to comment to NJ.com on the recent news except to say… “maybe.”
Small group reportedly did celebrate after 9/11
A national news organization seeking to determine the accuracy of statements made by GOP presidential contender Donald Trump has found several people – including a former Jersey City police captain – who claim some Muslims cheered the fall of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Police Captain Peter Gallagher told news organizations that he broke up a celebration that took place on a rooftop in Journal Square. This claim is supported by a CBS TV report at the time that showed about two dozen people involved in the rooftop celebration.
A resident also told NJ.com that he saw a small group of people celebrating at the time.
Trump, however, claimed that he had seen “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating in Jersey City, a claim denied by local law enforcement and city officials as completely without merit.
Mayor Steven Fulop said no police record showed any such celebration, and Gallagher told the news organization he did not file a police report at the time.
Store owner shot dead in Journal Square
A 61-year-old store owner was fatally shot in what appears to have been an attempted robbery on Dec. 19.
Jersey City police responding to a report of a gunshot found Byungeun Lee, of Palisades Park, on the floor inside the Top Plus clothing store with an apparent gun-shot wound to his upper body.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 4:15 p.m. Based on the preliminary investigation, homicide detectives believe the victim was killed during a robbery.
The investigation is being conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit. No arrests have been made yet. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit at (201) 915-1345 or by leaving an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office official website at: hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org
If anyone provides a tip or information about this case, the Prosecutor’s Office will not reveal anything about their identity.
Jersey City gets $100,000 grant for police body cameras
Mayor Steven Fulop has announced Jersey City has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the state Attorney General’s Office for the purchase of police body cameras as the city prepares to deploy the technology on uniformed officers in all four police districts in early 2016. Jersey City’s program, which is a procurement partnership with Newark and Paterson, represents the largest deployment of police body cameras in New Jersey.
The grant, announced last Monday by Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman, is part of a $2.5 million state program that allowed municipalities to apply to receive $500 toward each camera. The $100,000 will cover approximately a quarter of the projected cost to implement the pilot program. Costs include camera procurement, storage, software, charging and data transfer systems, maintenance and service.
Jersey City will launch an initial 12-week pilot program beginning in January with approximately 30 cameras on officers in each of the four police districts. During the pilot period, the department will study the effectiveness of the technology and its policy on body cameras, the best usage policy of the cameras (ie. location on the officer), and determine the appropriate amount of cameras needed for full implementation.
The goal after the pilot period is to purchase approximately 200 cameras that will be used across police tours so that all on-duty uniform officers are wearing a body camera.
“We know this will be an effective resource for our officers alongside foot patrols and community meetings as we continue to strengthen relationships between the police and the residents,” said Public Safety Director James Shea. “Body cameras have been proven to improve and help safeguard the rights of the public while documenting and protecting law enforcement officers at the same time and we look forward to full deployment.”
Local Jersey City Teacher Awarded National Grant
Emily Litman, a third to sixth grade math teacher from Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, has been awarded a grant by the Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF) to support learning through math games.
“Fred Rogers, the famous TV personality, once said that ‘play is often talked about as if it was a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.’ As a teacher, I know that as children grow older, school becomes more about serious learning,” said Litman. “I believe it is essential for students to still be given the opportunity to play at school. What makes these math games great is that students benefit from academic and social-emotional growth while they play.”
“AAEF applauds the dedication that Emily has demonstrated by trying to make learning fun and by seeking ways to personalize instruction for students who need it most,” said AAEF Chairman Gary Beckner. “Without question, teachers like Emily make AAE scholarships and grants a worthy investment in empowering educators to meet their professional potential!”
The AAE Foundation’s National Scholarships and Grants competition is held twice a year in the fall and spring and is open to all educators. The deadline for the spring competition is March 1, 2016.
The Association of American Educators Foundation is the non-profit charitable arm of the Association of American Educators (AAE), a non-union professional organization for teachers across the country. For more information, visit www.aaeteachers.org.
Cubans Lions play Santa at School for the Blind
The West New York Cubans Lions Club, among their many Christmas celebrations, visited the school of Saint Joseph for The Blind in Jersey City and brought gifts, toys, and clothing.
The event was held Dec. 18 at 10 in the morning, and gifts were distributed by Manny Reyes dressed as Santas Claus, as well as Marie Nieto, Vivian González, and Sandra Paz. The occasion featured a visit by the Three Kings. This year the Lions were accompanied by the Club of the LEOS, 22 students from local high schools.
The new Saint Joseph School for the Blind in Jersey City now has more space for disabled children and the partially blind, and is free to the community. There are only 70 students at the school. It’s located at 761 Summit Ave., Jersey City.
Funds approved for TB testing
The Hudson County Board of Freeholders on Dec. 10 authorized the acceptance of funding for the Hudson County Ambulatory Tuberculosis Care Program through the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Senior Services.
The grant is for $302,780 and it will be utilized to support the Ambulatory Chest Clinic, physician services, nurses’ services, mantoux tuberculin testing, x-ray services, dispensing of anti-TB medications and related services.
The grant term is from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015.
Bill creates unit to investigate telemarketing fraud
In an effort to combat telephone solicitation scams and other illegal telemarketing calls, State Senators Jeff Van Drew and Sandra Bolden Cunningham have sponsored legislation to establish a state telemarketing fraud investigation unit that would be charged with examining consumer complaints. The bill was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Congress reports that telemarketing fraud robs consumers of approximately $40 billion every year.
According to the National Consumers League, people over age 50 are prime targets. In New Jersey, scams have been reported ranging from callers impersonating police fundraising organizations to those who claimed to represent a utility company seeking payment on an overdue bill. There are a number of federal and state laws intended to protect consumers against unwanted telephone calls. Consumers may register their residential or wireless phone numbers on the national Do-Not-Call registry by telephone or by Internet at no cost. A state Do-Not-Call law, which Van Drew sponsored while serving in the Assembly, is intended to maximize protection from unsolicited and unwarranted telemarketing sales calls. Despite the efforts of lawmakers, unwanted and illegal calls persist.
The bill would require the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs to establish a telemarketing fraud investigation unit, which would be responsible for investigating consumer complaints of: unsolicited telemarketing sales calls from unregistered telemarketers; telemarketing calls made in violation of the division’s no call list; telemarketing calls in which the telemarketer calling does not promptly identify the person on behalf of whom the call is made or the purpose of the call; calls received between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.; calls made using caller identification blocking methods; and those made to any commercial mobile services device; and, any other such consumer complaints related to telemarketing practices as determined by the director.
Consumers may register online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY call 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number to be registered. New Jersey residents who have already signed up for the federal Do-Not-Call registry administered by the FTC are automatically protected under New Jersey law.
The bill goes to the full state Senate next for consideration.