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Dog shooting in Wyckoff


Regarding “A death years before dog shot” (Page A-1, May 7):

The incident in Wyckoff regarding the police officer protecting himself against a dog that was doing its job to protect the property is unfortunate.

The dog owners are distraught, and the police officer, who really had no other choice, must be beside himself. I think the most unfortunate thing is that The Record now has run an article about something the officer was involved in while working in Newark.

That has nothing to do with the Wyckoff incident, and even the dog owners agree. What’s even more disturbing is the mayor of Wyckoff buckling to public outcry. If this were a child being bitten by this dog because a ball went over the fence and the child went in the yard to retrieve it, the officer would have been a hero.

I think having a window open to allow a dog to go in and out of a house poses a problem itself, especially in terms of liability for the homeowner. That could be an issue if an ordinary citizen were involved in this incident, and not a cop.

Patrick Elwood
( Patrick Elwood is a Ridgewood PD patrol officer )

Hawthorne, May 7

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With more bears sightings reported in North Jersey, state considers expanded hunt


MAY 7, 2015, 9:45 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2015, 9:51 PM

After five years of an annual bear hunt in December, North Jersey still has one of the nation’s densest black bear populations, and state wildlife experts say encounters between man and bear are now occurring more frequently outside of what is commonly bear country.

As a result, the state is considering an expansion of the hunt, in October, starting next year.

The typically solitary, benign creatures are adaptable and can live close to human developments. When bears turn about one year old, they venture out in search of their own territory, said state Department of Environmental Projection spokesperson Larry Hajna.

“What we have in Northwest New Jersey is a situation where we have a very productive bear population, and limited habitat,” he said. Hajna estimated the area has two or three bears per square mile — not much “elbow room for foraging a habitat, finding a mate.”

This time of year, bears emerge from winter dens and seek to mate, sometimes roaming for miles. Police in Allendale, Saddle River and Ramsey say they have received multiple reports of sightings in the past few days.

About 3,500 black bears live in North Jersey, according to the DEP, about the same as when the hunt began in 2010.

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New Jersey Teenager Wins PNG 2015 YN Scholarship


May 6, 2015 By Coin Update Leave a Comment

Christopher Maisano, a 17-year old New Jersey high school student, has been selected as the winner of the Professional Numismatists Guild ( 2015 young numismatist scholarship. The PNG will provide tuition, dormitory accommodations, meals and airfare to and from Colorado Springs, Colorado for him to attend one of the week-long sessions of this year’s American Numismatic Association ( Summer Seminar.

“I am so happy and grateful for this opportunity! It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Maisano said.

He began collecting two years ago while on vacation with his parents when he saw coins in the window of an antique shop.

“I was captivated by the old U.S. coins. I entered the store with my parents and spent hours looking at all the coins in their inventory. With my own allowance money I purchased my very first coin, an 1873 With Arrows Seated Liberty half dollar from the Philadelphia Mint,” Maisano recalled.

He said it is in poor condition and the least valuable coin now in his collection, but it “is the most beloved and prized coin in my collection because it was my first.”

Family members and friends soon responded to his interest in numismatics.

“My grandmother gave me her father’s coin collection. It included mostly Morgan dollars. None of the coins were very valuable but I found it so interesting to research them and learn about how my great-grandfather loved collecting coins,” he explained.

He also credits Ridgewood Coin & Stamp in Ridgewood, New Jersey for nurturing his interest in coins and mentoring him about buying and selling.    Last October his parents took him to the PNG show in New York City where he met PNG member-dealer Donald Kagin and associate member David McCarthy of Kagin’s, Inc. who showed him gold coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard. McCarthy and another PNG associate member, John Brush of David Lawrence Rare Coins, told him about the annual ANA Summer Seminars.

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Wyckoff cop who shot dog allegedly hit suspect with police car in Newark in 2010


MAY 7, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2015, 12:25 AM

The officer who fatally shot a Wyckoff family’s 5-year-old German shepherd was also involved in an alleged 2010 police chase in Newark that ended when the police car he was driving fatally struck a domestic violence suspect.

The officer, Kyle Ferreira, was not charged or indicted in the Newark case, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday. And Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox said that the department knew about the incident when he was hired in February 2012.

Newark agreed to settle a civil lawsuit related to the incident for $350,000, according to federal court documents. Ferreira was among 160 Newark police officers who were laid off in late November 2010 because of budget cuts, an attorney for Newark said.

Fox said that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office had cleared Ferreira of any criminal wrongdoing in the case and that it was “simply ruled an accident.” He said that Wyckoff authorities were “aware of it, and we investigated it.”

Katharine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said prosecutors had presented the case to a grand jury, which found “no cause for action” against Ferreira. “In essence, his actions were deemed to be justified,” Carter said.

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State Police Investigates Double Fatal Turnpike Crash


May 6,2016
New Jersey State Police

North Bergen, N.J. – The New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Unit, Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and personnel from Newark Station, are investigating a crash involving a Washington Township, Bergen County, police car that struck two pedestrians on the New Jersey Turnpike earlier today at approximately 1:06 a.m.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Jason Champion, 41, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Nuwnah Laroche, 34, of East Elmhurst, were traveling in a 2001 Cadillac Escalade when it became disabled on the southbound side of the roadway. Sometime later, both individuals were pedestrians in left, northbound lane in the area of milepost 115, when they were struck by a Washington Township Police car driven by 46-year-old Officer Arsenio Pecora.

According to the Washington Township Police Department, Officer Pecora was returning from training at Fort Dix at the time of the accident. The victims were pronounced deceased on scene at 4:33 a.m. via telemetry. The cause and circumstances of the crash are currently under investigation.

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Garden State Plaza adding five luxury-brand tenants

Westfield Garden State Plaza

MAY 5, 2015, 9:45 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015, 10:28 PM

Westfield Garden State Plaza confirmed Tuesday that it has signed five new luxury fashion brands as tenants, solidifying the Paramus mall’s profile as a center for high-end fashion.

Versace, Ferragamo, Longchamp, Burberry and Hugo Boss, with their Fifth Avenue pedigrees, will open this fall in a space created by the relocation of Victoria’s Secret and other stores. The deals will give the Plaza the only Versace store in New Jersey, and will help it match offerings at its two rivals for upscale mall shoppers — The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack and The Mall at Short Hills. Riverside has Hugo Boss, Burberry and Ferragamo shops, and Short Hills has Burberry and Longchamp stores.

The announcement by the Plaza comes as two of North Jersey’s other major malls deal with concerns about empty space and weigh decisions that could determine their long-term survival. The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack has more than 100,000 square feet of space that was vacated by Saks Fifth Avenue. Paramus Park has been talking for years about a movie theater wing, though work has yet to begin.

In addition to online retailing, which threatens the mall industry nationwide, North Jersey malls face the future opening of the American Dream shopping and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands.

The Plaza has been on a campaign to attract more upscale retailers ever since its leasing coups in the 1990s, when it landed North Jersey’s first Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus stores. In recent years, the mall has added Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. The new tenants will be located near those high-end neighbors, on the lower level.

North Jersey is fertile territory for affluent shoppers. The median household income in Bergen County is $83,974, ranking it 42nd among the nation’s 3,143 counties, according to the latest data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Last year the Plaza opened a fashion wing that included stores by designers Tory Burch and Vince Camuto, as well as a Microsoft store. Pirch, a high-end appliance show­room, opened in a corner of that wing in March.

The mall has added more than 40 retailers over the past year.

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Tenafly resident’s arrest meant to better ties between Koreas; statement met with suspicion


Won Moon Joo in a photo from his 2012 Tenafly High School yearbook.

MAY 5, 2015, 4:28 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015, 11:19 PM

The college student from Tenafly detained in North Korea sought to be arrested and hoped his arrest would lead to better relations between North Korea and South Korea, he said in an interview that aired Tuesday on CNN.

Speaking at a hotel room and appearing relaxed, even smiling at times, Won Moon Joo, 21, said he intended to cross into North Korea from China. To do so, he had to pass two barbed wire fences and a cross a river before he was stopped by soldiers.

Joo, a student at New York University, was vague about his motivations for entering the country.

Related:  Tenafly resident detained in North Korea says he crossed into country on purpose

“Once the thought of entering the DPRK seeped into my mind, I couldn’t really escape it. I guess I constantly thought about it,” he said, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the name North Korea gives itself.

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Wyckoff family whose dog was killed by police at loss for answers


MAY 5, 2015, 6:05 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015, 11:15 PM

The Vukobratovic family of Wyckoff returned to their “empty house” on Tuesday night, but they did so knowing that the tragic story of Otto, their German shepherd shot by a policeman during a mistaken burglary call, is likely to get a formal review by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

That was the result of a sometimes emotional Wyckoff Township Committee meeting where the family had gone demanding answers to what happened — step-by-step — last Wednesday in the moments leading up to Patrolman Kyle Ferreira’s shooting 5-year-old Otto twice in the back yard of family’s Lawlins Road home.

The meeting also saw boisterous picketing outside Township Hall by about 60 people — some with their dogs — who questioned the appropriateness of Ferreira’s response to what police say was an attack by Otto. And it included an apologetic Police Chief Benjamin Fox again expressing his department’s pain and regret over the incident, as well as Mayor Kevin Rooney’s stern condemnation of how Ferreira has been pilloried on social media even as a police review of the incident is continuing.

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Freeholders hold off on Bergen Community College project financing until miscommunication cleared up


MAY 4, 2015, 7:07 PM    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, MAY 4, 2015, 7:07 PM

A communications mix-up Monday led the Bergen County Freeholders to postpone action on a proposed $3-million bond issue to renovate a building at Bergen Community College.

Three freeholders who serve on the Board of School Estimate were about to discuss the measure when County Administrator Dominic Novelli said he had not seen the proposal.

There was also concern over whether adequate notice was given for the vote, which several freeholders said took them by surprise as well.

“The conclusion that we came to is that the meeting was not properly noticed,” Freeholder David Ganz said after the Board of School Estimate voted to adjourn until an unspecified date.

“You don’t want — with the dollars amounts what they are — to make a mistake,” he added.

College officials had sought approval for $3 million for renovating Ender Hall on the Paramus campus.

They also sought $1.5 million toward upgrade of information technology equipment.

College President B. Kaye Walter explained that Ender Hall started out as a temporary building many years ago.

She said there are plans to use the building for a number of new initiatives, including a pre-college program for high school students studying engineering.

At first, freeholders sought to accommodate the request, which came during a budget hearing for the college.

Ganz and Freeholder Joan Voss convened a meeting of the board of estimate, which normally includes three freeholders and two college trustees.

They even temporarily swore in Freeholder Tracy Zur to fill in for Freeholder Steve Tanelli, who was not present.

But they quickly recessed the meeting after Novelli pointed out that the administration had not approved the spending.

“Quite frankly, I’m not familiar with this request for additional funding,” he said.

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Tenafly residents detained in North Korea says he crossed into country on purpose


Won Moon Joo in a photo from his 2012 Tenafly High School yearbook.

MAY 4, 2015, 9:02 AM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015, 10:06 AM

TENAFLY — An interview that CNN aired Tuesday morning with a Tenafly college student detained in North Korea shed little light on why he entered the country or what will happen to him.

Won Moon Joo, 21, told CNN that he purposely crossed into North Korea from China, passing two barbed wire fences and a river before he was stopped by soldiers. Asked why: “I thought by my entrance — illegally I acknowledge — I thought some great event could happen and hopefully that event could have a good effect in the relations between the north and south,” he said, appearing relaxed and even smiling during the interview.

The interview did little to answer the questions that have swirled in North Jersey’s Korean neighborhoods since North Korea announced Joo’s arrest on Saturday for having illegally entered the country. In community centers, groceries and media offices, people have been asking how he ended up in such a terrible situation and worrying for his family.

It’s a nightmare for any family — hearing that a son with so much promise travels abroad and takes a risky action that ends with him in prison. North Korea’s government detained Joo on April 22, and while South Korea is fighting on his behalf, his fate remains unclear.

“I hope I will be able to tell the world how an ordinary college student entered the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) illegally, however with the generous treatment of the DPRK that I will able to return home safely,” he said in the interview.

Joo also told CNN he has had no access to phone or Internet and has not been able to talk to anyone from the U.S. or South Korean governments yet, but has been treated well.

“I’ve been fed well. I have slept well and I have been very healthy. I would just like to apologize for creating a lot of worry among my loved ones,” he said in the interview.