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Scammers mailing fake arrest warrants to scare victims into payments

Ridgewood _police_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving 

MAY 15, 2015, 8:04 AM

The state Division of Consumer Affairs is warning the public about a scam in which con artists are mailing fake arrest warrants issued by the state Attorney General’s Office to intimidate victims into sending money.

In one “arrest warrant” that was sent to a victim, the letterhead states it was issued by the U.S. District Court and that the victim has been charged with criminal violations like “collateral check fraud” and “theft by deception,” the division said in a statement on Thursday.

The letter says the victim faces “a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $24,000” and calls on the victim to pay an “outstanding balance” of $1,876.48. The warrant gives a number with a 609 area code for victims to call to arrange a payment, the division said.

Last month, the division warned that scammers purporting to be representatives of the state Attorney General’s Office were calling victims to demand the payment of nonexistent debts.

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Cop who shot dog is cleared, Wyckoff police chief says


MAY 15, 2015, 10:18 PM    LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2015, 12:17 AM

The Wyckoff police officer who fatally shot a German shepherd after going to the wrong address to investigate a burglary report last month has been exonerated by a township internal affairs investigation after the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office declined to look into the matter, authorities said in a news release Friday night.

Township Police Chief Ben Fox issued a five-page statement saying that an investigation by his department had “exonerated” the officer, Kyle Ferreira, “from any claim questioning his truthfulness in this incident.” Fox said the officer believed the dog could “cause serious bodily harm” after it bit him in the foot and latched onto his right boot. And Ferreira followed state Attorney General’s Office guidelines for the use of deadly force, the chief said.

Fox said that he was taking an “unusual step” by releasing details of the investigation because “many facts have been misrepresented.”

He said the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office had declined to investigate the matter, citing state regulations, and sent it back to his department’s internal affairs unit. The chief had asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate because “allegations were being made that the police department was not being truthful,” he said in the statement.

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Glen Rock seeks independent review of process in suspension of 2 police officers


MAY 13, 2015, 9:57 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015, 10:00 PM

GLEN ROCK — The Borough Council moved Wednesday night to appoint an independent investigator to examine “the general culture within the police department” and the circumstances leading to the recent suspensions of two officers.

A resolution adopted by the council calls for a special “investigation of police department operations” by retired state Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Carver III.

Carver presided over the recent disciplinary hearing for Officer Bryan Scott, one of two officers suspended from the force back in late December.

The suspensions of Scott and Sgt. Christopher McInerney were approved by Chief of Police Fred Stahman following an internal affairs investigation into allegations the officers deleted two pictures from the Police Department’s computer server. In addition, Stahman recommended termination for both officers.

In late March, Scott and McInerney were reinstated by the council.

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Kushner resigns as president of Alpine club; couple called coach anti-Semitic, report says


MAY 12, 2015, 5:42 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015, 10:11 PM

David Kushner has resigned as president of the Alpine Country Club, officials of the club in Demarest said Tuesday, days after Kushner and his wife, Nanci, pleaded not guilty to charges that they stalked and harassed the Cresskill High School basketball coach.

Investigators tied the Kushners, both 49, to anonymous emails sent to the coach by tracing the IP addresses of the emails, according to records obtained on Tuesday. The emails had come from the Kushners’ home in Cresskill and from the Manhattan offices of David Kushner’s company, Paradigm Capital Funding Group, the records said.

The Kushners also were charged with harassment last week in Tenafly, where police say they sent anonymous emails to a former friend.

Police are also investigating a house party Friday night at the Kushners’ home. A juvenile boy was taken to the hospital for evaluation after suspected alcohol consumption, and authorities seized alcohol, suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia, officials said. David Kushner told police he was out of state at the time, records show.

The quick succession of events brought an abrupt shift for a family well-known over the years in Bergen County society and at high profile charity functions.

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Pair named in harassment cases allegedly behind emails in Tenafly, Cresskill


MAY 12, 2015, 8:33 AM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015, 8:33 AM


Alpine Country Club President David Kushner and his wife, Nanci, allegedly sent anonymous, harassing emails to Tenafly resident Cory Hechler, according to court papers that were made public Monday.

Hechler, a longtime friend and golfing partner of David Kushner, filed a civil lawsuit last year alleging that Kushner persuaded him to invest in business deals that lost a substantial amount of money.

The Kushners have been charged with harassment in the Tenafly case, which was announced on Friday without the name of the alleged victim.

The Kushners also face charges, made public last week, that they stalked and harassed the Cresskill High School basketball coach by sending anonymous emails in an attempt to get him fired. The Kushners’ son played basketball at Cresskill High School.

Authorities also said Monday that they are investigating an incident Friday night at the Kushners’ home on Adams Drive in Cresskill.

Officers responding to a noise complaint reported that someone at the home was taken to a hospital, and that a quantity of alcohol was seized. Cresskill Deputy Police Chief James Domville said he did not know whether the couple was home at the time.

No charges have been filed in the matter, but the detective bureau is investigating to determine whether underage drinking took place at the home, Domville said. He said he did not know the age of the person taken to the hospital.

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PSE&G prepared for 2015 summer electric demand


file photo by Boyd Loving

Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line now fully operational

Significant infrastructure investments will maintain reliability

(Newark, N.J. – May 11, 2015) With the new Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line now entirely operational, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, is fully equipped to meet customer demand for safe, reliable electricity this summer.

The 500-kilovolt line was fully energized today by PPL Electric Utilities from the Susquehanna station in Berwick, Pa., to PSE&G’s Hopatcong switching station. PSE&G energized the portion of the line from Hopatcong to its Roseland switching station in April 2014.  PSE&G has spent more than $775 million on the project to date. The PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator, determined that Susquehanna-Roseland was needed to maintain reliability by relieving congestion on other regional transmission lines.

PSE&G constructed 45 miles of the line in New Jersey and PPL built the 101-mile Pennsylvania portion. The two companies worked together to build a four-mile segment through National Park Service lands along the borders of the two states.

“In addition to maintaining electric capacity and reliability, the energizing of this line marks the completion of a major project that has created thousands of New Jersey jobs and has benefitted the state’s economy,” said Kim Hanemann, senior vice president of delivery projects and construction for PSE&G. “We could not have completed this critical project without the cooperative relationship between PSE&G and PPL. Working together, we successfully navigated the lengthy permitting and licensing process at both the state and federal levels. The S-R line is one of a number of substantial infrastructure upgrades we are making to keep the lights on and New Jersey’s residents cool when temperatures climb.”

PSE&G customers are benefiting from $2.6 billion in electric and gas investments the utility is making this year. Equipment has been replaced, facilities have been upgraded and additional redundancies have been added system-wide in order to maintain reliability.

Notable investments that will be in service for the first time this year, ensuring that energy is delivered safely and reliably to customers, include:

$435 million for the Mickleton-Gloucester-Camden 230kV reinforcement consisting of 20 miles of new and upgraded overhead transmission, installing 16 miles of new 230kV underground circuits, and upgrades at five existing stations expected in-service for June.  This project maintains electric service reliability for customers in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.
$77 million for the Aldene-Springfield Rd-West Orange 230kV Conversion Network reinforcement consisting of rewiring from Cranford to West Orange to replace underground circuits with high-rated conductors, and upgrades at two stations. This project maintains electric service reliability for customers in Union and Essex counties.
$76 million to replace 14 aging transformers to maintain electric service reliability for customers in Bergen, Union, Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer, Gloucester and Burlington counties.
$63 million for rewiring projects from Ridgefield to Saddle Brook to Fair Lawn in Bergen County to replace underground circuits with high-rated conductors to maintain reliability.
$66 million for the Branchburg-Bridgewater reconfiguration of the switchyards at four existing stations and rewiring two overhead transmission lines. This project maintains electric service reliability for customers in Middlesex and Somerset counties.
$41 million to install a 69,000-volt upgraded substation, providing increased local transmission supply capacity to customers in south Bergen and north Hudson counties. Additionally, $63 million for 69,000-volt upgrades to switching station equipment and lines in the East Rutherford, Fair Lawn and Paterson areas.
$35 million invested in tree trimming across PSE&G’s service territory to ensure adequate clearance and prevent tree contacts along transmission and distribution lines.

“These investments, along with our highly skilled and dedicated workforce, play a big role in making us one of the most reliable utilities in the country, and the most reliable in the Mid-Atlantic region year after year,” said John Latka, senior vice president of electric operations for PSE&G. “Customers can rest assured that when temperatures spike and they turn on their air conditioners, we’ll be ready.”

The forecasted summer peak for this year is 10,306 megawatts. Last year’s peak was 9,474 megawatts, set on July 2, and PSE&G’s all-time summer peak was 11,108 megawatts, set on Aug. 2, 2006.

PSE&G expects to have no problem delivering the additional power required during the summer months, but utility crews will be ready to respond to service interruptions should they occur. The utility’s rigorous, year-round preparedness program for summer includes conducting employee training; developing emergency summer operating plans; performing summer peak reliability analysis; inspecting transmission lines using helicopters and infrared cameras; and reinforcing lines and other equipment.

Learn how to save more with PSE&G Energy Efficiency Programs at

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Ridgewood TV producer Meredith Bennett a panelist at NJMG event


MAY 11, 2015    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, MAY 11, 2015, 1:21 AM


TV producer Meredith Bennett of Ridgewood is one of five women on the panel.

WHAT: “Women for Women Networking Event — Carpe Diem/Seize the Day,” presented by North Jersey Media Group’s Exposure and (201) Magazine

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Malls reach a crossroads


MAY 10, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015, 10:47 AM

Sixty years ago, when the first malls arrived here, they changed the landscape of North Jersey, replacing celery fields and woodlands with stores, food courts and parking lots. Now, new forces are at work altering the terrain of traditional suburban shopping centers.

The industry group International Council of Shopping Centers says America’s malls are undergoing the biggest transformation in their six-decade history. Next week, the council will unveil an initiative to examine and redefine the mall as developers, shopping center owners and the retail real estate industry gather in Las Vegas for their annual convention. The council will look at eight groundbreaking ideas, including using parts of shopping centers as distribution sites for filling online orders, as well as ways to bring residential, hotel and office uses into the mall.

“This is an industry that is constantly evolving,” said ICSC spokesman Jesse Tron. The shopping centers that will thrive in the future are those that are “willing to push the envelope to try what’s new,” he said.

As the industry grapples with change, two North Jersey malls find themselves at a crossroads, and the choices they make will affect their development for years.

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Reader says ,Officer Elwood. I’m going to tell you why you are wrong and why perceptions are very important.

deadly force

Firstly, I am generally pro-police. I think this is how the majority of the public feel. However, there’s a side to the police that irks many, and you have demonstrated this side. It’s the circling of the wagons mentality in your description of the events at this incident, which you have no more insight into that anyone else who was not there. I understand the whole band of brothers sense of camaraderie, but when it comes to incidents of police officers discharging a firearm, and that incident is still in the review stage, you have no business making public statements about what happened. It’s this very kind of public statement that gives the general public a very low opinion of how the police, police themselves. As for the previous incident, yes, this is noteworthy. It possibly indicates issues of the officer’s ability to self-manage his anxiety levels during moments of stress.
Also , I didn’t realize, Officer Elwood, that you witnessed the incident, because according to statement in which you say the police officer “really had no other choice”, it appears that you saw it all. I hope that you provide this important testimony to whoever is in charge of officially reviewing the incident.

Another poster chimed in ,  What I don’t understand is what people think the Police Officer should do. A German Shepherd as the 2nd most forceful bite of any dog – 235 lb per square inch. That’s enough to break bones in the leg, ankle or foot.

Soto replay this scenario, an 85 lb dog has your foot in his mouth. Being 4 -legged the dog can move, laterally, faster than an upright human – especially if he has the human’s foot in his mouth! SO exactly what is it that you think the Officer should have, or could have, done? Better yet, if this had been you, what would you have done?

Looks like the police union is out with its “facts and figures” to try and muddy the water to distract attention away from the real issues here: 1) This was an 85 lb German Shepherd with the 2nd most forceful bite of any dog – 235 lb per square inch. That’s enough to break bones in the leg, ankle or foot; and 2) having a window open to allow a dog to go in and out of a house into a fenced backyard poses a problem itself, especially in terms of liability for the homeowner. Guess the union hasn’t learned anything from the recent human deaths in Staten Island, Ferguson, Georgia, South Carolina or Baltimore.

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Cresskill couple charged with stalking


MAY 8, 2015, 6:41 PM    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015, 11:59 PM

A Cresskill man who is a founder of a New York-based investment firm and the president of the Alpine Country Club and his wife have been charged with stalking for allegedly sending anonymous emails in an attempt to force a Cresskill High School basketball coach from his job, according to court papers.

David and Nanci Kushner, both 49, allegedly sent harassing emails to the varsity basketball coach, Michael Doto, and his employers over the course of two years, Cresskill police said in a criminal complaint.

And on Friday, the Tenafly police issued a news release saying that the Kushners had been charged with harassment related to “anonymous email correspondence” sent late last year.

In an interview on Friday, Doto said he had been forwarded emails sent to Cresskill school administrators and had received another email sent to his home account in March. He said that four letters “similar to the emails” were sent to his Cresskill house in March.

“It has been a scary experience for my family and I,” Doto said, declining to comment further.