Jersey City man found guilty of murdering his wife

Jose Morel, 61, of Jersey City, has been found guilty of murdering his wife, 38-year-old Milagros Rodriguez de Morel, in Jersey City on Oct.18, 2017. The Honorable Mitzy Galis-Menendez, P.J.S.C., presided over the bench trial in which she also found the defendant guilty of three additional charges related to the incident.

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According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the evidence at the trial established that the defendant murdered his wife in their Jersey City home and that the victim’s son was present in the residence. The victim suffered from multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. The defendant was acquitted on two aggravated assault charges related to his son.

Fulop says crime is down in Jersey City

In a release issued earlier this month, Mayor Steven Fulop shared statistics that highlight violence trends dropping in Jersey City.

Shootings from Jan. 1 to June 2, according to the release, dropped from 46 in 2017, to 35 in 2018, to 14 in 2019. Murders during the January to June time frame, showed a similar decline from 11 in 2017 to 6 in 2018, and 3 in 2019.

“We have transformed our police department from 769 to 980 officers who reflect the most diverse city in the nation,” Fulop said. “We have added more walking posts, installed more than 200 CCTV cameras, fought for contract changes and have expanded social services throughout the community. We opened recreation centers, expanded after school programs and created more community partnerships than ever before. Violent crime continues to plummet throughout our city. We won’t stop until we’re at zero and every neighborhood is safe – in fact, it’s our goal to become one of the safest mid-size cities in the nation.”

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 Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St, Hoboken, on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 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

First Latina becomes NJSBA President of State Bar Foundation

Evelyn Padin was sworn in as president of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is the first Latina president of the association, New Jersey’s leading group for lawyers, judges and legal professionals.

Padin, a Jersey City practitioner who handles family law and personal injury matters, said she is honored and humbled to be a part of the association’s leadership. She took the oath of office on May 16 at the association’s annual dinner and installation of officers at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

Padin said she would focus the efforts of the association on ensuring access to the justice system through holding volunteer events in several inner-city communities during the course of the year; launching the next steps of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, a program to aid attorneys facing a medical crisis; expanding diversity and inclusion efforts in the NJSBA and legal profession; continuing to press for passage of legislation to level the playing field for professionals; and raising awareness and funds from the legal community to feed New Jersey’s children who do not have enough to eat.

5K and 1-mile run in Liberty State Park

The Friends of Liberty State Park will hold their first annual 5K Run and One Mile Fun Run on Saturday, June 15. The Fun Run will start at 9:30 a.m. the 5K will start at 10 a.m. The course will start and end at the southern portion of Liberty State Park. Check in will be at Flag Plaza behind the Park Office located at 200 Morris Pesin Drive. Please visit link for registration fees:

AAA warns of drinking and driving danger for teens

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research has found that nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel. Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer because teens are out of school and driving more.

New crash data reveals that from 2013 to 2017, nearly 3,500 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days of the year, the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day, a time when fatal crashes with teen drivers historically rise. Major factors contributing to fatal teen crashes during the summer driving period include speeding, drinking and driving, and distraction.

“Due to their lack of training and experience, teens are more vulnerable to being involved in crashes than the rest of the driving population,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., Manager of Media Relations for AAA Northeast. “These crashes increase during summer when teens are out of school and driving more.”

To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment, and distracted driving.

“Teens should also prepare for summer driving by practicing safety during every trip,” continued Mr. Sinclair. “Storing your phone out of reach, minding the speed limit, and staying away from impairing substances like alcohol and marijuana will help prevent many crashes from ever occurring.”

Bill restricting isolated confinement advances

Legislation sponsored by state senators Nellie Pou and Sandra B. Cunningham, which would restrict the use of isolated confinement in correctional facilities, has passed the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

The bill, S-3261, would restrict isolated confinement from being used for non-disciplinary reasons or without first providing a personal and comprehensive medical and mental examination.

This bill is nearly identical to the bill S-51 which passed the Senate in 2017 but was subsequently vetoed by then Gov. Christopher Christie.

The bill prohibits members of vulnerable groups from being placed in isolated confinement, which include those who are 21 years old or younger or who are 65 years old or older, have a disability based on mental illness, have a developmental disability, have a serious medical condition, are pregnant or recently pregnant, have a significant auditory or visual impairment, or are perceived to be LGBT+. In order to determine if an individual is a part of vulnerable group, the bill would require a clinician to evaluate each inmate.

Exceptions that would permit the use of isolated confinement include if the inmate could become a threat to themselves or others, if an inmate were placed due to emergency confinement, medical isolation, protective custody, or if there were a facility-wide lock down, and to ensure the safety of the inmates.

Additionally under the bill, inmates would have the right to contest isolated confinement within 72 hours of the placement. And inmates would not be able to be placed in isolated confinement for more than 15 consecutive days or more than 20 days within a 60 day period.

Kennedy Dances presents 2019 Teen Summer Intensive Program

The Kennedy Dancers Inc., located at 79 Central Ave. in Jersey City, will present a full time Dance Day Camp and Summer Teen Intensive this summer.

The Teen Summer Intensive is from July 22 to Aug. 2, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students will learn learn ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, gymnastics, and tumbling. This is a scholarship program and all applicants must audition. Students will be provided free breakfast and lunch.

Lunch is provided by the Department of Agriculture (e.g. sandwiches: all-beef or chicken, no pork, seafood, or peanut butter), fresh fruit, milk, and juices.





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