Jersey City man sentenced to 22 years for strangling wife in 2011
Steven Acuna, 40, who was convicted of killing his 32-year old wife at their Jersey City Heights home in August 2011 and hiding the body in the basement in a 55-gallon drum, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Acuna was convicted of strangling his wife, Randy “Amanda” Lehrer, during a fight, after which he put the body in a drum and filled it with cement. The body was found about a month later by investigators in the basement of the Charles Street home.
According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office, Acuna – who originally charged with murder – pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in October. At the time of the killing, the couple had a one-year old daughter.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Sunday
The Jersey City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, kicking off at Lincoln Park between Belmont and Bentley Avenues, and will end at Journal Square via Kennedy Boulevard.
“The large Irish-American community in Jersey City is a great reminder of Jersey City’s rich cultural diversity,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “Through the hardships of the Irish forefathers who came here in search of a better life, the Irish community has grown to levels of prominence in terms of education, business, and community service.”
The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the city’s longest-running celebrations. Each year, the committee honors individuals who have made great contributions to Jersey City, and serve as leaders within their respective field.
There will be a St. Patrick Parade Day Mass hosted by the Hudson County Friendly Sons of St. Patrick at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 16 at St. Aedan’s Church, 800 Bergen Ave., as well as the Jersey City Fire Department Memorial Walk which will begin at 11:45 a.m. from Lincoln Park to the Fire Memorial where there will be a laying of the wreath.
Jersey City’s EDC Awarded $119K from The Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation
Mayor Steven Fulop announced that the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the mayor’s office and the Jersey City Employment and Training Center (JCETP), has been awarded a grant in the amount of $119,000 from the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation to be used towards planning the expansion of the program which serves JCETP’s Workfirst welfare clients.
The Fireman Foundation grant will fund a pilot program which will expand job coaching for residents enrolled in welfare who have dependent children. The program will offer customized support to help participants identify job opportunities, improve job retention, and strengthen their capacity to manage their finances as they transition from welfare to employment.
“I am pleased to announce this grant, which will help us give motivated residents the support they need to transform their families’ lives,” said Mayor Fulop. “Workforce development is a significant priority for this administration, and in collaboration with the Jersey City Employment and Training Program, under the leadership of James McGreevey, we are revitalizing our programs and partnerships to better meet employer demand. This represents just one of the many changes to the services we’re providing to residents as we focus on outcome-driven programming.”
Currently, the Jersey City Employment and Training Program (JCETP) provides its welfare to work clients with job search training through a 90-minute job search workshop, two interview workshops and a career exploration curriculum. JCETP serves approximately 65 families on welfare every year.
Freeholders call for ethics training program
The Hudson County Board of Freeholders Chairman Jose Munoz has introduced a resolution requiring that all elected officials, county employees, and appointed members of county boards, authorities, and agencies must undergo an ethics training program.
Munoz says he wants to make ethics training an issue of priority. It shall be required that all elected officials of the government of the county of Hudson shall complete a course in government ethics training.
This requirement shall apply as well to all county department directors and all appointed members of county boards, authorities and agencies. This ethics training shall be completed before the end of this calendar year, 2014.
This requirement will take place immediately after the freeholders finalize it during the regular freeholder meeting on March 13.
Learning Community Charter School to honor Paul Silverman
At the Learning Community Charter School (LCCS) 6th Annual Spring Gala on April 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Beacon in Jersey City, Head of School Colin Hogan will award the school’s longstanding supporter, local real estate developer and philanthropist Paul Silverman, the prestigious Championship Award.
“Learning Community Charter School (LCCS) is filled with great energy, enthusiasm, and creativity,” said Silverman. “LCCS is so important to our neighborhoods. Residents stay and raise their families here in Jersey City because of schools like LCCS. We applaud the good work of Learning Community Charter School.”
Silverman is involved with many civic and not-for-profit organizations. He hosts art shows, ribbon cuttings, fundraisers, and activities for the community, including the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and the popular Hamilton Park BBQ Festival providing energy and enthusiasm to the neighborhoods.
Artist debut at NJCU
Debuting at the Visual Art Gallery of NJCU is the photographic series Havarna by Marco Lau. The series depicts Havana, Cuba and Varna, Bulgaria, over a span of 12 years. Havarna was inspired by Marco Lau’s personal connection to both cities, and includes portraits, landscapes, and documentary photographs. Marco Lau is a photographer working primarily in NYC shooting fashion and editorial photography. View his work at www.marcoantonio.com.
An artist’s reception will be held at the NJCU Visual Arts Gallery, Visual Arts Building 100 Culver Ave. in Jersey City on Monday, March 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. The show runs from March 24 to 28.
Dante Alighieri Society offers classes
The Dante Alighieri Society of Jersey City, located at 562 Summit Ave., will offer Italian classes: Basic I from April 3 to June 5 (10 consecutive Thursdays); Basic II from April 4 to June 10 (10 consecutive Tuesdays). Classes are from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and costs $50 plus $20 cost of book for each class. To obtain an application form for Basic I, please contact Joe Shaara at (201) 362-7535 Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Basic II requires either the completion of Basic I or completion of first year Italian at high school or college. To obtain an Application Form for Basic II, please contact Dino Vasquez at (201) 795-9779.
DeLeo to address St. Joseph’s seniors
Hudson County Surrogate Donald W. De Leo will be addressing the members of St. Joseph’s Senior Citizens’ Club of St. Michael/St. Joseph’s Parish of Bayonne on the subject of “Updated Information on Wills, Living Wills, Living Trusts, and Stories from your Hudson County Surrogate’s Court” on Monday, March 17 at 1 p.m. The location will be at the St. Michael’s Madonna Hall, Church Lane, (between 23rd & 24th Streets), in Bayonne.
Saint Dominic Academy announces upcoming opportunities
Saint Dominic Academy, located at 2572 Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City, has announced several upcoming opportunities for prospective students.
On Tuesday, May 6 from 6 to 8 p.m., the school will host its spring Open House for grades 7 through 12. The event will feature club and athletic demonstrations, presentations by academic departments and the administration, tours of the school and complete information about the application for admission process for all grades, including transfers.
The academy will also be a participant at the Archdiocesan High School Fair to be held at the Archdiocesan Center, 171 Clifton Ave. in Newark on Tuesday, April 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
In the meantime, girls currently in the seventh grade are encouraged to visit SDA as a “Freshman for a Day.” Available dates and an application can be found on the school’s website www.stdominicacad.com . Space is limited, so interested students should send in their applications quickly.
Also available on the school’s website is information about the Saint Dominic Academy Rising Leaders Summer Program for girls entering fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade. The program will be held from June 23 – July 24 and the deadline to register is May 16. There are several Bonus Camp opportunities, including a COOP Entrance Exam Preparation Course.
For more information contact Andrea Apruzzese, Saint Dominic Academy Director Admissions at (201) 434-5938, ext. 14 or to email@example.com .
JC library goes digital
LearningExpress Library goes live on the Jersey City Free Public Library website on Saturday, March 15, giving all Jersey City library users the opportunity to browse through LearningExpress’ host of self-learning materials, including over 180 eBooks of interactive skill-building courses and instantly scored practice tests, perfect for students, adult learners, parents and career professionals.
While Jersey City library Reference areas will still have the study books for exams, such as GED, firefighting and police, LearningExpress eBooks widens the availability of such standard exam review books, should one not be available. There is no limit to the amount of eBooks that can be downloaded, and multiple patrons can download the same title with no restriction. The eBooks are DRM free, meaning, there is no Digital Rights Management, and once they have been downloaded, the library patron determines when the eBook is to be deleted.
Patrons can now send inquiries by text message, regarding renewal requests, reference questions, etc. to the phone number, (201) 579-0694.
For the latest on programs, events, and special announcements please follow the Library on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jersey-City-Free-Public-Library/121162594579991), Twitter (JCFPL_NJ) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/jerseycityPL) at Jersey City Free Public Library. Visit us on the web at www.jclibrary.org for all information on the Library,