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Do you know this man? Police seek information on this alleged coat thief. (See brief)
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Update on alleged Hoboken school assault

Local teen Amir Goodwin, who was charged last year along with three juveniles in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old female student at Hoboken High School, will appear in court on Feb. 15, according to Law Office of Adrienne D. Edward P.C.

He was originally scheduled to appear last Monday, Jan. 29.

Goodwin, age 18, of Hoboken, was first charged on Nov. 30 with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of criminal sexual contact, and one count of criminal restraint. Then, on Dec. 12, he was additionally charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault.

Investigators did not release the names of the other students allegedly involved, because they are under 18. A 17-year-old juvenile is charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and kidnapping. The two 16-year-old juveniles were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and aggravated criminal sexual contact.

The four teens allegedly forced a 17-year-old girl into a room at the school, and allegedly forced her to perform a sex act during school hours. The incident was reportedly caught on school videotape and on a student’s cellphone.

For more specifics, see earlier stories at hudsonreporter.com

On-line BCCLS book requesting still suspended

BCCLS, a consortium of 76 libraries in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties, including the Hoboken Public Library, has been unable to provide the service of requesting books online through their website since the end of last year.

The service, which had been uninterrupted for years, was supposed to be fixed by the end of January, but the website now states the service is currently temporarily suspended.

“BCCLS libraries are still experiencing major delays with the new statewide delivery system and we are working hard to rectify the situation,” states the BCCLS website. “There is an average of 4,344 requests placed through the BCCLS catalog each day. In an effort to temporarily reduce the volume, the BCCLS Executive Board has decided to turn off the ability to place online requests effective immediately.”

The website suggests “selecting books from residents’ home library” and calling ahead to the library to make sure the item is actually on the shelf.

Former Hoboken Housing Authority commissioner says she'll run for U.S. Senate

Former Hoboken resident and ex-Hoboken Housing Authority board member Dana Wefer announced on Facebook that she will run against Senator Robert Menendez in the upcoming election as a Republican. She moved out of Hoboken to Bergen County last year.

"New Jersey has not elected a Republican Senator in almost 50 years, which is why the Democrats are perfectly comfortable uniting behind Bob Menendez, who just recently escaped a conviction on corruption charges, not because he denies the facts the government set forth, but because of how toothless our corruption laws are," said Wefer in a Facebook post. "This outrageously unethical Senator will waltz through the Democrat primary and is almost guaranteed reelection unless New Jersey voters decide to disrupt the system. I am here to disrupt the system. I am the only Republican who can take Bob Menendez down, and if you nominate me, I will."

Last February, she announced publicly that she would run for governor, but then dropped out in March.

For more information on Wefer go to http://www.danaweferforsenate.com/aboutdana .

City releases Union Dry Dock poll results

The city received 2,447 responses to an online survey regarding the future use of the former Union Dry Dock property on the northern waterfront. UDD was purchased by NY Waterway last year as a ferry maintenance and repair facility, but the city wants to acquire the property for public use.

"The people of Hoboken have spoken loud and clear: we overwhelmingly oppose industrial uses and want to complete our waterfront as public open space,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla in an email to the community. "Our community's decades-old vision for a continuous, public waterfront park is as strong as ever, and my administration will do everything it can to make it a reality.”

Based on this public feedback, the city will continue the process of acquisition of the Union Dry Dock site by initiating good faith discussions with the property owner.

According to the alert, 91.5 percent of the 2,404 respondents said they believe the UDD property should remain a priority for the city to complete a publicly accessible waterfront park system.

For the rest of the results, see breaking news that ran earlier this week at hudsonreporter.com or use the search field at hudsonreporter.com.

Who is the alleged coat-swiper in Hoboken?

According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, on Saturday, Dec. 16, at approximately 11:30 p.m., a man entered a closed retail business on Harrison Street and allegedly stole 50 high-end women's shearling coats valued at over $70,000.

Police seek help in identifying the man allegedly involved. He is described as white or Hispanic, of medium build, and with facial hair. He was wearing what appeared to be a light colored coat, Chicago Bulls baseball cap, light colored pants, and construction type boots. Anyone with information as to the identity of the suspect is asked to please contact Officer Paul Quinn at quinnp@hobokenpd.org or 201-420-2118.

Police warn residents of IRS phone scam

According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, residents may receive calls from scammers claiming to be representatives of the Internal Revenue Service during this tax season.

"They will explain that the reason for the call is to advise you of a past due IRS debt," said the release. "They will then provide you with instructions on how to make the payment such as purchasing gift cards or any other type of card such as itunes. They will also explain that if payment is not received a warrant will be issued for their arrest. The victim, now in fear will provide the caller with all the information needed for the payment."

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers through email, text, or social media to request any personal or financial information and they do "not call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests."

The press release advises residents to end the call and not engage in conversation. The Internal Revenue Service can be reached at (800) 829-1040.

Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers

Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm. 901 on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.

For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.

St. Matthew Trinity congregation to affirm pastor’s gender change in renaming ceremony on Feb. 11

The congregation of St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church will celebrate Pastor Rose Beeson as she transitions from female to male and takes on the name Peter in a renaming ceremony on Feb. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Rev. Tracie Bartholomew, bishop of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will be the featured preacher during the worship service that affirms transgender individuals who take on a new name and remember their baptism.

All who believe in promoting inclusion and diversity are welcome to attend this historic occasion.

St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church is located at 57 Eighth St.


Our Lady of Grace, Hoboken, will host the next LGBT meeting for LGBT, parents of LGBT, and any one who wants to dialogue on the topic of "homophobia."

The meeting will take place on Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Center at 411 Clinton St. Contact Fr. Alex Santora at padrealex@yahoo.com or call 201-659-0369 for more information.

CarePoint Health and NJ Sharing Network to register organ Donors this Valentine’s Day

While most people will celebrate Valentine’s Day in the arms of their loved one, CarePoint Health is teaming up with the NJ Sharing Network to help raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and to help bring the gift of life (and love) to hundreds of New Jerseyans.

In addition to Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 is also National Donor Day, a day established to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved.

In the United States, there are more than 115,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ donation.

On Feb. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hoboken University Medical Center and Christ Hospital in Jersey City, representatives of the NJ Sharing Network will be joined by an organ donor or recipient, at an organ donation registration drive in each of the hospitals’ lobbies.

The drive will also take place on Feb. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Bayonne Medical Center.

“It is impossible to understate the impact organ donation can make,” said Dr. Vijay Singh, chief medical officer of Bayonne Medical Center and chief hospital executive. “Registering to be an organ donor is literally the one thing that everyone can do to help save the life of another person. With thousands of New Jersey residents waiting for organ transplants, we are hoping to educate as many people as possible about this simple, but critical initiative.”

Feds drop charges against Menendez

In a surprise move, the U.S. Justice Department has dropped its corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

This decision came after a mistrial was declared in the proceedings against the New Jersey Democrat and co-defendant Salomon Melgen in November when the jury could not come to a verdict.

The Justice Department refiled the charges earlier this month, but U.S. District Judge William Walls, who heard the original case, dismissed seven of the most serious charges against Menendez and Melgen. Walls said the trial had shown no evidence of wrongdoing in regards to Menendez accepting campaign contributions from Melgen.

This left the lesser charges of Menendez accepting gifts and trips from Melgen. Menendez’s defense team was expected to request that the other charges also be dropped.

But it appears the Justice Department decided the case was not worth pursuing and dropped the remaining charges against both men.

The two men were charged in a case that claimed Melgen had given Menendez significant campaign contributions as well as gifts and trips in exchange for helping in solving problems Melgen was having with several agencies of the federal government. Menendez has said he wanted to help a constituent.

A number of local officials had urged the federal government to drop the case, from Rep. Albio Sires to Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.

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