Comedian, former Howard Stern regular Artie Lange arrested for drug possession

Arthur “Artie” Lange of Hoboken, a comedian and TV/film star who used to be a regular on the Howard Stern radio show, was arrested last Sunday in the parking garage of the Shipyard condo complex for alleged possession of cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia. Police said he allegedly had drugs both in his car and on his person.

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According to a spokesman for the Hoboken Police Department, “Officers responded to the area of 14th Street and Shipyard Lane [where Lange lives] on a report of someone attempting to enter a vehicle that was parked inside the garage. Officer Zeszotarski was able to observe what appeared to be suspected heroin and cocaine inside the vehicle. A male later identified as the defendant approached the officers and confirmed it was his vehicle….A search of his person also revealed several more bags of suspected heroin along with cocaine.”

He was transported to police headquarters and the police confiscated the drugs that were inside the vehicle.

Police confirmed on Friday that he was released on a summons with an upcoming court date for his appearance.

The comedian has been linked to drug use before and was hospitalized in 2010 after apparently attempting to commit suicide.

Lange responded to the breaking news on twitter on Friday.

“Hey guys. I was arrested. I’m doing great. Physically too!” Tweeted Lange. “Love u all!..”

In a follow up tweet he described his encounter with the Hoboken Police Department.

“FYI The Hoboken Cops treated me so great,” wrote Lange. “Great people. Professional. I thank them for that Now a lawyer tells me what to do!”

He added, “I wish I could tell u how my story ends. I hope it’s being old & smiling cuz of unique memories. But I’m such a flawed person guys. Tryin!”

Spot likely opening up on Hoboken Housing Authority board

Dana Wefer, chairwoman of the Hoboken Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, has announced that she plans to move to Bergen County. It is not yet known when she will leave, and she did not return multiple phone calls and emails seeking additional comment. But the City Council will have to appoint a new chairperson to sit on the board for the remainder of her term.

The HHA has long dealt with a series of rotating executive directors and board chairs. They are the agency that oversees the city’s federally-funded low income and senior housing units on the west side of town. They are overseen by an appointed, unpaid Board of Commssioners (including Wefer) and a paid staff (including the executive director). Currently, the majority of the seven-member commissioners’ board is allied with Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The council can appoint Wefer’s replacement based on applications they receive from residents, and will take a vote.

According to Council President Jennifer Giattino, the council has not yet discussed an appointment since the seat is not yet vacant. When asked, Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla said the council has a process they use to appoint a new chair.

“The process is that, once we get word that she is vacating her seat, we usually determine exactly what date the seat will be open; look at the current roster of applicants at the City Clerk’s office and pick among them; or if none of the current applicants are satisfactory, we try to recruit residents to apply for the position, so we can appoint a good and qualified person to the position,” said Bhalla.

The City Clerk keeps these applications for two years.

According Giattino, applications can be found at the City Clerk’s office and online, and any Hoboken resident can apply. However, some have complained in the past that the picks are a foregone conclusion before they come up for a vote.

To download an application to serve on any of Hoboken’s municipal boards go to http://hobokennj.gov/boards/

Wefer recently said she will run for governor as a Republican (shortly after founding a statewide Democratic reform organization), but last week she said she will not run. See Al Sullivan’s column for more.

What do you think? Email us at editorial@Hudsonreporter.com.

Volunteers needed for Hoboken cleanup

To celebrate Earth Month, the Hoboken Shade Tree Commission and Green Team will host Hoboken Spring Fling, a community-wide day of service dedicated to cleaning up Hoboken’s parks and public spaces.

“Spring Fling will offer Hoboken residents, businesses, and community groups the opportunity to work together on a hands-on, high-visibility service project,” says the city’s press release.

Hoboken Spring Fling will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 (rain date is Sunday, April 30).

Volunteers will meet at the gazebo in Church Square Park and disperse to cleanup projects throughout the city. Projects may include removing debris from a park, roadway, walkway, school, or other public property; planting or landscaping a public area; and painting benches or other public amenities.

Volunteers are invited to sign up as teams or individuals at www.hobokennj.gov/springfling

All ages are welcome, but volunteers ages 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Individuals who register will be paired with existing teams in order to maximize volunteer capacity. The final day for team registration is Wednesday, April 26.

Volunteers should contact Jennifer Gonzalez at jgonzalez@hobokennj.gov with any questions.

Hoboken Police Department arrests resident for drug possession

Hoboken resident Andre Wheeler, 33, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of Phencyclidine, and defiant trespass last Sunday. 

Officers were conducting a check of a Marshall Drive address when they encountered Wheeler and detected a strong odor as he was smoking a cigar, according to a press release. It was determined that the cigar was allegedly a mixture of suspected marijuana and PCP. He was placed under arrest and a search found him in possession of a Ziplock type bag containing green vegetation allegedly containing marijuana and PCP, the release said. 

Hoboken homeless man charged with assault

Nathaniel Peterson, 49, has been charged with defiant trespass, resisting arrest, aggravated assault, and terroristic threats. 

Det. William Collins was patrolling the Housing Authority area when he observed Peterson exiting 221 Jackson St. Collins knew Peterson did not live in the building and inquired why he was on Hoboken Housing property. Peterson could not provide a valid reason and when police attempted to place him under arrest for defiant trespassing he allegedly pushed the officer and fled the scene.

He was caught a short distance away and a struggle ensued and other officers arrived on scene to assist with the arrest. He was remanded to Hudson County Correctional Facility. Collins sustained no serious injuries apart from a laceration.

Discussion on breastfeeding and going back to work

The Palisades Women’s Group, 1499 Park Ave. in Hoboken, will host a forum on breastfeeding and going back to work.

According to the media release, the discussion and Q&A will be led by a board certified lactation consultant from Hackensack UMC Palisades.

The discussion will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 21, April 18, and May 16.

The releases stated “We welcome new mothers and expecting mothers who have or will return to the workplace and continue to breastfeed.”

To RSVP call (201) 295-4823.

Free chamber music concert will be March 26

Pamela Ross and the Ulysses Quartet will present “Wanted: Dead and Alive!”, a free family-friendly chamber music concert featuring music of Dvorak, Brahms, and brand new pieces composed for the award-winning Ulysses Quartet by star students and faculty in the music technology department at Stevens Institute of Technology.

The performance takes place on Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. at The Hudson School Theatre Space, 601 Park Ave.

For information and reservation call (626) 991-8803.

County agency launches ‘Million Dollar Challenge’

Access to capital is the lifeblood of small businesses but too often, hard-working business owners and entrepreneurs can’t get the financing they need. The Hudson County Economic Development Corporation (HCEDC) wants to give Hudson County’s small businesses a fair chance to start, grow, and thrive and have partnered with UCEDC, a nonprofit small business lender and training organization, to launch the “Million Dollar Challenge.” 

The agency has committed to getting $1 million of fairly-priced capital into the hands of viable start-ups and growing small businesses that would otherwise be denied conventional lending. For more information visit https://ucedc.com/loans/loan-products.

The HCEDC will also offer four free training classes. Beginning on March 22, with Franchising, the class will cover: Common myths and truths about franchising. ownership options like professional advisory services, facilitation, light manufacturing, social entrepreneurship, education, home services; government regulations for franchises, the importance of knowing your personal goals and objectives before taking the plunge, how to finance your business, available resources and consultant services from an industry leader at no cost.

To register for Franchising, go to: https://ucedc.com/event/introduction-to-franchising-2/.

Hudson Chamber of Commerce offers small business workshops

The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce will expand its educational offerings with the introduction of a series of small business workshops on Wednesday, March 22. “Introduction to Franchising” is the first of a series of four workshops to be offered this spring in partnership with the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation and the Union County Economic Corporation. The small business workshops are free and open to the public.

“With a growing number of startups and small businesses choosing to make Hudson County their home, the chamber is expanding our educational offerings and focusing on topic areas we believe are highly relevant for business owners,” said Maria Nieves, the chamber’s president and CEO. “We look forward to partnering with both the Hudson County and Union EDC’s, both incredibly well regarded organizations with track records of supporting local businesses, to make these workshops available at various locations in the county.”

Upcoming small business workshops take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the following Wednesdays:

“Introduction to Franchising,” March 22, at Hudson County Plaza·

“Basics of Intellectual Property for Small Businesses and Start-Ups,” April 19, at Hudson County Plaza·

“QuickBooks 101,” May 10, at North Bergen Public Library·

“The How-To’s of Pricing Your Products and Services,” June 7, Kearny Public Library·

For more information about these workshops, please call (201) 386-0699 x 220 or visit the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce website: www.hudsonchamber.org.

Father of toddler killed in Union City fire charged

The Office of the Hudson County prosecutor charged Eddie Gonzalez Sr., the father of 1-year-old Eddie Gonzalez Jr.,who perished in the four-alarm Union City fire March 4, according to a press release Thursday. Gonzalez, 26, along with Edwin Diaz, 20, was charged with one count of Causing Widespread Damage, a third-degree crime, and one count of Creating a Risk of Widespread Injury or Damage, a fourth-degree crime. If convicted of the third-degree crime, both defendants face up to five years behind bars.

The office also revealed that “the origin of the fire was the rear room in Apt. 2L” at 1404 Summit Avenue, where Gonzalez lived with Eddie Jr. and Aaliyah Mercado, the boy’s mother. A five-month old sibling to Eddie Jr. was also present.

The prosecutor’s office did not elaborate on why the two men were charged or how they may have been involved in the fire.

Mercado managed to escape through the building’s fire escape with the 5-month-old baby. Responding officers found Eddie Sr. at the top of the fire escape. But Eddie Sr. could not reach the boy, who perished in the blaze.

Gonzalez and Mercado were treated at different hospitals after the fire, then released. Eddie Jr. is the lone casualty in the incident, which displaced over 80 people. High winds caused it to quickly spread as far as Sts. Joseph and Michael Church at 1413 Central Ave. In total, eight residential buildings and 20 apartments were damaged by the fire.

“The investigation into the Eddie’s death is far from over,” said Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “Our continuing investigation will now focus on trying to ascertain the events which led to his death.”

Gonzalez and Diaz are set to appear in Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City Apr. 6.

The Prosecutor’s Office did not elaborate on Thursday.

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